Sneak Peek of Times Reader 2.0

May 8, 2009, 9:34 am
By Rob Larson
NY Times

Next week we’ll be introducing Times Reader 2.0. This version is powered by Adobe AIR and will run equally well on Windows , Mac and Linux computers. With this latest release, Times Reader resembles the printed paper even more closely, and it updates every five minutes with the latest news from the Web.

The features that you valued in the first version of Times Reader —the easy-to-read format, the ability to read offline, a seven-day archive, news in pictures and membership to Premium Crosswords — are still included, and we have a number of new features as well.

We’ve built TimesReader 2.0 in response to the feedback we’ve received from you, our community of subscribers. A constant theme in that feedback has been to design the reading experience to capture the best aspects of print. We listened and now it is.

How have we done this? The first version of Times Reader was organized more like NYTimes.com than the printed paper. On the Web, where our readers may not visit every section, we play the same story across many sections. For example, a story about the sale of a sports team- might appear in both our Business section and our Sports section. In print, of course it will appear only once. On the Web, where our readers may not visit us every day, we sometimes leave stories that were published yesterday, or the day before, on the section front. In print, of course we only include today’s news. In TimesReader 2.0 you will now see only today’s stories, and only in the sections in which they were published in print. This makes Times Reader 2.0 a more efficient way to read today’s news.

What about breaking news? A news feed from the home page of NYTimes.com downloads every five minutes into a “Latest News” section front. The top breaking news headlines also appear at the top of the Front Page section.

Times Reader 2.0 Front Page Front Page of Times Reader 2.0

How are sections presented? The news sections are presented with the same story selection and editorial judgment as in the printed paper. Sections appear on their day of publication, with Science Times on Tuesdays, Dining on Wednesdays, the Magazine on Sunday, and so on. The layout seeks to preserve the same editorial judgments as those expressed in the printed paper.

Here are a few more features in Times Reader 2.0:

Sections that have more headlines than can appear in the screen at once now overflow to a second page so that they can all be browsed easily. A scroll bar appears on these fronts; just scroll down to see additional headlines.

Times Reader 2.0 Arts Section Times Reader 2.0 Arts Section

Video is now a part of the Times Reader experience. Click “News in Video” to see the latest set of clips from The Times. (You’ll need to be online to watch video.)

Times Reader 2.0 News in Video Times Reader 2.0 News in Video

You can now do the crossword inside Times Reader. There’s no longer a need to leave and open a separate application.

Times Reader 2.0 Crosswords Times Reader 2.0 Crosswords

There is a very interesting “Browse” feature that lets you fly above the pages of the paper. This is useful for scanning and increases the sense of serendipity and surprise that you so often find in print.

Times Reader 2.0 Browse Mode Times Reader 2.0 Browse Mode

Downloading the day’s news, especially for those of you on Macs, is now even faster. On a high speed connection it takes less than a minute, a bit more on Sundays.

And finally, advertising now conforms to standard Web (IAB) sizes, making it easier for advertisers to reach the Times Reader audience.

Times Reader remains a subscription product, free to home delivery subscribers, but we are now offering four free sections to allow anyone to experience the product. These include Latest News, the Front Page, Business Day and our Most E-Mailed articles.

We are excited to be launching this upgrade and look forward to putting it into your hands soon. The product is the result of a close collaboration with Adobe. Look to Adobe’s INSPIRE sitefor more on how it was built.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this sneak peek. As always, send questions or comments to timesreader@nytimes.com.

Rob Larson
Vice President, Digital Production, NYTimes.com

Update: May 11, 2009: Times Reader 2.0 is now available to download.

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About skicat56

Snow Sports Industry veteran – Husband – Father – Network IT Ninja & Former Powncer. Old enough to know better but young enough to start a new career.
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