A month ago I responded to an Amazon offer of a free month’s introductory Kindle subscription to a newspaper. There was a choice of several papers including the Daily Mail, The Times and The Guardian. I chose The Telegraph and have been downloading it every day during October. Had I not cancelled I would be in line for a charge of £9.99 a month as from November.
Initially I thought I was getting a full version of the newspaper as with, for instance, the direct subscription to The Times which I tried and discarded last year. Instead I got a new and pathetic beast, the “Kindle edition.”
Insult to Instapaper
It is a sort of Instapaper version of the broadsheet, lacking illustrations except for a few thumbnails. It is misleading to compare it with Instapaper, however, because this is sloppily formatted and wholly unappetising confection. The top of every page carries the date 1 January 1970 which, as you may remember, was Day One for Bill Gates and MS-DOS. The Telegraph, it seems, has not progressed.
There is no form of quick navigation and it is necessary to plough through unwanted sections page by page. Letters, Sport, weekend features, all are presented in linear form. There is no index or other help.
No sharing, no nothing
This bargain-basement edition of The Telegraph suffers from all the annoying features of most web-based newspapers: No sharing, no ability to cut and paste bits of inspiration, no bookmarking for later reading. In short, the whole experience is frustrating and a waste of your valuable time.
Yet there is something even worse. Since this is a Kindle publication I found I was constantly needing to go the library to change back to the current book in hand. It is inconvenient and becomes annoying after a few days. I prefer to keep the Kindle app focused on books and books only.
I have tried only the Telegraph edition so good luck if you are having a wonderful experience with The Guardian, The Times or the Daily Mirror.
Reading The Telegraph during this month became a daily chore which I am only too happy to forego. I am now back to getting my news solely from RSS feeds through Feed Wrangler and Instapaper. Good riddance to The Telegraph and its second-rate Kindle app which isn’t worth even the £9.99 a month asking price.