I’ve been a fan of the New York Times Reader for a long time. New version 2.0 was just released, bringing a few refinements to a winning presentation. The Times Reader is a software program that displays the contents of the New York Times on your computer in a way that is much more appealing than visiting nytimes.com or other news sites using your web browser. It’s not quite the same as a newspaper but it’s not a bad substitute.
The New York Times Reader is now built on Adobe Air, which means it runs on Macs and Linux computers in addition to Windows PCs.
As before, the program adjusts to any screen or window size and never needs scrolling – no scroll bars, ever. That’s a huge step forward for comfortable browsing, probably the most important thing about the program.
Font sizes are fully adjustable and stories flow naturally to fit regardless of font size. Content is stored locally on your computer and updated automatically at regular intervals, so everything appears instantly. (That means it’s also available offline – you can flip open your laptop on the plane and read the news. The program holds a week’s worth of newspapers at all times.) Controls are intuitive. Stories can be annotated and stored and printed and mailed and anything else you might want to do. There’s a powerful Search mechanism and some cool ways to display pages for browsing. Ads are unobtrusive.
The new version closely mirrors the articles in the print edition, but also adds additional photos and videos. Updating is far faster than the original version and articles are updated more frequently through the day, with easy access to recently updated items.
You can try it for free and read the front page. Full access is free for home delivery subscribers, available by subscription for $3.45/week to everyone else. I highly recommend it for news junkies.
Here’s a blog from the New York Times with lots of information about the new version of the Reader, and here are some additional details from Adobe. The team that developed the software at Adobe has its own site about the project. Good technology!