Android News

The Times Android tablet app may be the best of its kind [App Reviews]

October 14, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka

Android, Android App Reviews, Reviews, Tablets

thetimes

The Times, one of the world’s oldest and most recognized newspapers, is now on Android – one of the world’s youngest and most recognized operating systems. More specifically, The Times is now available in a format that has been optimized for Android Honeycomb tablets.

We’ve seen plenty of newspapers and magazines release Android apps in the past year, but few of them were well-produced. They often felt like lazy conversions of PDF files that didn’t take advantage of growing technology. That is not a criticism that can be levied at The Times, which presents articles in interesting, if not always convenient, way. For instance, Caitlin Moran’s Celebrity Watch is on one page that has links to read the blurbs about 10 celebs featured in her column. Tapping repeated times isn’t the perfect solution, but the text is large and photos are included, so it makes more sense than swiping up and down, zooming in-and-out like some other apps require.

Users can swipe left-and-right to turn the pages, which are designed sort of the same way as they are in print. Tapping the “Stories” link then provides quick scrolling to different sections, and clicking on a front page section links to the corresponding article. Each article also contains interactive elements like tapping a picture to expand to a larger view, or pulling-up “Draw Details” image to reveal more information about an upcoming match between Ireland and Estonia. I don’t like that The Times leaves chunks of unused space along the borders, but the photo galleries, videos, and overall design elevate media consumption. Simply put: this is the kind of template I’d like to see more publications follow on the tablet.

The Times comes with a free 30 day trial that delivers daily issues, but a digital subscription is required (Times Digital Pack subscriptions also provide access to the website and Sunday Times editions). I’m not sure how many of our readers like The Times, but if you are someone who reads the paper and own a Honeycomb tablet, I strongly advise that you download this app.

Android 3.0+ required
Subscription required, free 30-day trial included