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The best way to read the New York Times digitally

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Photo by samchills, from Flickr Creative Commons.

The New York Times has a bewildering panoply of options for reading the paper digitally, including an almost-unknown but very awesome “Replica Edition” in which each page of the daily paper appears exactly as it does in print. (Hat tip to Dan Okrent for telling me about that, as I almost certainly would have not found it otherwise.)

Here’s the rundown. Most or all of the below offer a small amount of free usage monthly, but require subscriptions, explained later, if you want to read past your monthly limit.

 

Continually updating news:

NYTimes.com web site: All the news. Content changes throughout the day. Included with a digital subscription or home delivery subscription. Also partially available with a lower cost Top Stories/NYT Now subscription which allows reading only certain selected articles (about 40 per day), or an Opinion subscription which allows reading only the Op/Ed section.

NYTimes iPhone app: similar content to web site, formatted for iPhone; included with a digital subscription or home delivery subscription. (Also available for non-Apple phones.)

NYTimes iPad app: similar content to web site, formatted for iPad; included with a digital subscription or home delivery subscription. (Also available for non-Apple tablets.)

NYT Now iPhone app: a “lite” (or, if you prefer, “curated”) app offering selected content. Included with a digital subscription or home delivery subscription, or a lower-cost Top Stories/NYT Now subscription. Content changes throughout the day. No iPad version.

NYT Opinion iPhone app: Just the Op/Ed section. Included with a digital subscription or home delivery subscription, or a lower cost NYT Opinion subscription. Content changes throughout the day. Not supported on iPhone.

 

One day’s news, as it appears in the print edition:

NYTimes Today’s Paper: Sort of like NYTimes.com, but allows you to read what’s in the final daily print edition, instead of continually changing content. Once the day has been downloaded, it can be read without an internet connection. On an iPad, Today’s Paper behaves like an app, but you actually access it through Safari. Included with a digital subscription or home delivery subscription. No iPhone version.

New York Times Replica Edition: This is the coolest way to read NY Times on an iPad, in my opinion, but it’s provided by a third party, and doesn’t appear to be an official part of the NYT digital products lineup. It provides the day’s paper exactly as it appears in print, classifieds and TV listings and Macy’s ads and everything, on your iPad or iPhone (or Mac, but I don’t recommend that as it’s super ugly there). The Replica Edition is almost completely impossible to discover and set up; it is scarcely referenced on the NYTimes web site, and the instructions are wrong. It’s included with a Replica Edition subscription or a home delivery subscription, but not a digital subscription; however, a Replica Edition subscription includes a digital subscription to the NYTimes.com web site, but not the NYT apps. Confused yet?

To get the Replica Edition: if you don’t have a home delivery subscription, first subscribe to the Replica Edition on your computer (click “Sign In” at the upper right). If you do have a home delivery subscription, instead sign in here to your NY Times home delivery account on your computer; then scroll all the way down to where it says The New York Times Replica Edition, and click the “click here” link next to “For online access from your computer.” You need to do this once, even to read on an iPad or iPhone; you can close the pop-up window that appears with the paper in it. Now check your email for your Replica Edition username and password (which is different than your NYTimes.com username and password); the same email also includes iPhone/iPad setup instructions, but they’re wrong, so ignore them.

Once you’ve got your Replica Edition username and password, install PressReader on your iPad or iPhone. Tap the menu button in the upper left, and tap “Accounts” and then “Sign In”. Enter your Replica Edition username and password, and you should see “the New York Times Digital” appear under “Linked Services”. Tap the menu again, then tap “Publications”. You should see “The New York Times Digital” with a thumbnail of today’s paper beneath. Tap the thumbnail, then tap Download. Once it’s downloaded, you can read it without an internet connection. Tap the headlines to read a single article. Going forward, all you have to do is open PressReader, tap the New York Times, and download the day’s newspaper.

 

Old news:

NY Times Archive: In your computer or mobile browser, you can search all articles since 1851; then you can pay to read them a la carte, or, if you are a digital or home subscriber, read all you like before 1923 or after 1986, or read up to 100 per month between 1923 and 1986 before having to purchase a la carte. Strange, I know.

TimesMachine: See a replica of the print edition of any issue of the New York Times from 1851 through 1980. Works best on a computer browser, but can be used on iPhones and iPads. Included with a digital subscription or home delivery subscription.

 

Free apps:

NYTimes The Collection iPad app: Just style and fashion coverage. Free. No iPhone version.

NYTimes The Scoop iPhone app: NYC food, drink, and events. Free. No iPad version.

NYTimes Real Estate iPhone app: Title says it all. Free. No iPad version.

 

Subscriptions:

There are also a plethora of subscription options. They are:

Home delivery: Includes digital subscription for all apps, Today’s Paper, Replica Edition, Archive, and TimesMachine. Price varies by location and frequency. In NYC, Monday-Friday is $7.20/week; Saturday-Sunday is $7.60/week; Friday-Sunday is $8.70/week; Monday-Sunday is $13.30/week.

Digital subscription: Includes NYTimes.com, Today’s Paper, Archive, TimesMachine, plus iPhone apps for $3.75/week, iPad apps for $5.00/week, or both for $8.75/week.

Replica Edition subscription: Includes NYTimes.com; not clear whether it includes Today’s Paper, Archive or TimesMachine. Does not appear to include NYT iPhone or iPad apps (other than PressReader, which is required to use it). $4.99/week.

 

Partial content subscriptions:

Top Stories/NYT Now: Includes NYT Now app and selected articles on NYTimes.com only. $2.00/week.

NYT Opinion: Includes NYT Opinion app, and Op/Ed articles on NYTimes.com. $1.50/week.

 

Here’s a page with a chart of what’s available for which digital subscription; scroll down to find it. (Keep in mind that even though the Replica Edition exists, it’s not mentioned in that chart.)

 

Photo by samchills from Flickr Creative Commons.

 

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