Ah, Sunday morning! The waft of bacon, eggs and sausages. The Sunday Times, weighing a ton and getting ink all over my fingers as I eat. I haven’t experienced this for two years, ever since I stopped buying dead-tree newspapers and came to rely entirely on the internet for my written news. I never gave up the great British fry-up, though.
Today was different. I was reading the ST again, but this time on my iPad. Encouraged by my newly geekified friend Janice, I decided to take pity on poor old Roop Murdoch. He’s had a pretty bad press recently so I thought I would invest a whole one pound coin in opening access to 30 days’ worth of The Times and the Sunday Times. That’s about thruppence a shot and seems good value to me.
Months ago, when Murdoch put the Thunderer and its Sunday sibling behind a paywall, I decided not to play ball. I have been existing on free fare via RSS feeds from a number of newspapers. In a way, this is more immediate. You get the stories as they are happening, you are not reading yesterday’s news. But, at the same time, you are missing out on the cream between the layers of cake, the comment and features.
So far I like what I see, particularly with the Sunday Times app which, I think, is better than the daily Times app. What I used to hate about the Sunday Times, as with most Sunday newspapers, was the sheer bulk. All those sections and magazines that I didn’t really want but had to take. After buying the ST I would invariably walk out of the newsagent and bin those sections I didn’t want. Sport was always first into the trash since I cannot imagine how anyone can be interested in sport.
Now, with the excellent iPad app I can decide which sections to download. Sport, Appointments and similarly boring bits can be left in the ether, never to weigh down my iPad or my patience.
I can now see why the Sunday Times app has been so acclaimed as the best newspaper app of all time. Navigation is super easy, something that is not always a given with a tablet version, and I didn’t have that feeling of hopping around and finding it difficult to get back to square one. Everything was logical, even at first glimpse, and I enjoyed the experience. For the first time in two years I am enjoying the comment and the bits that aren’t covered in the typical as-it-happens RSS feed.
At the moment, Murdoch’s ditigal newspapers are well priced. After my one-month trial I move to a £2-per-week subscription which includes six copies of The Times and the one copy of the Sunday Times. This is exceptional value for money, although I fear it cannot last. Once hooked, once having smoked a couple of these technological Woodbines, I’ll be hooked.