Customer Reviews: The Times and Sunday Times
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on November 26, 2009
This UK paper is $9.99 a month for Americans but over twice the price if you live in the UK, plus Americans get images but UK customers do not. Well done Amazon!
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on January 29, 2010
I am amazed that Amazon continues to deliver UK newspapers to Uk customers via the US and thereby denies readers the ability to receive pictures which are available for US subscribers. Until this is rectified I will not be buying a Kindle and subscribing to an over priced electronic service; i'll continue with my paper sub!
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on June 7, 2010
I have been subscribing to the times on the kindle for a week and am happy with the product itself but can't believe that the ipad version is only £9.99 (and that obviously includes pictures etc). I contacted the times and asked why kindle users are being asked to pay more than double that price and I was told that they "were not able to disclose that information"! I wont be continuing my subscription
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on January 30, 2010
The formatting is terrible. None of the sub-headlines are in bold so it's difficult to tell they're not part of the text. There are no pictures. At $22.99 it's about twice the price of an online subscription to the Times Online website.

What's good about it is that it's delivered wirelessly to your Kindle every day, but that's not enough to justify the price or overcome the other shortcomings.
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on December 11, 2009
I live in the UK and use the kindle most days. I've been trying out the Times subscription for a while, but i find it lacks a little something. What is that? Pictures. I think the times is a great idea on the kindle, but with the lack of pictures and tables it just lacks that final bit. Is this "the times" that is not driving the pictures/tables out of their CMS system ? If it is - come on news international, i think you need to start deliverying the pictures as it helps with the experience and engages your audience. I've downloaded books with tables/pictures in them and it adds to the experience. The times images are normally high quality so lets get 'em on the kindle as i might stick with the subscription and tell my friends.....oh and when i mean the pictures, i mean photo's/tables and the great cartoons that are feature.
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on March 8, 2010
As a Times reader of many years, I recently subscribed on my Kindle. Mostly this is because I've now moved into the middle of the middle of nowhere. The nearest outlet selling the Times is a 30 minute drive away, and not in a direction I often travel. So it's great to be able to get the Times. It's true that you don't get the pictures (despite the comments of other reviewers, the images aren't there at all -- it's nothing to do with the country, since I'm in the US), but they don't make a huge difference to the experience.

You get the Times, a great paper, but sadly not a great Kindle edition. I can live without the pictures (they'd be nice though). I can live with the price. I really like the navigation, which lets you 'flick' through the paper by section and browse headlines. What annoys me most often is the lacklustre conversion to kindle format -- some articles have lists or tables, and these are constantly mangled. Many articles start with the location of a report or the name of the reporter, and these aren't differentiated by any kind of formatting.

And then there's the lack of the magazine. To be fair, there's a lot of the magazine that would really bloat the download if it was formatted like the paper copy, but equally, to not send the article text is shabby. The Sunday Times is/was/should always be a monster of a paper - the kindle version can be finished by mid-morning (with few distractions).

In summary - I love the paper, and the articles are the same as you'd get in the paper edition, but the overall attention to detail in the formatting for kindle really lets this newspaper down. If you can easily get the paper edition, do. If, like me, you want the Times but can't find it, this is still worth getting. For what it's worth, I'll be keeping my subscription, I enjoy reading it, and every day I'll be hoping for improvements in the format.

Update: For a few days now the "front page" has been coming with a small picture. It's a very minor improvement, but it does at least show that they're still working on the kindle edition (and aren't sinking all their effort into the ipad edition).
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on January 4, 2010
If you live in the UK, The Times is not delivered to your Kindle until 07:00. This is despite the fact that you can usually get paper copies of the first edition in Central London from 23:00 the night before.

It's a nice idea, but if I can't get it for my journey to work, then it's back to the hardcopy newspapers for me.
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on January 25, 2010
I have trialled this now for about a month. The content was fine and the delivery was seamless. However, for a UK subscriber this costs $22.99 per month vs US at $9.99 per month! This just seems farcical to me, especially given The Times website on my iphone is free, more detailed and updated during the day.

I'm afraid I just cannot see the point of this for anyone that can access the internet. Very disappointing.
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on February 28, 2010
Update: I have finally received a reply to my query about the website. It's not good news. Print subscribers and Epaper subscribers will get free access to the website. Kindle subscribers will not. Even though we are paying for the content already we shall have to pay to view the website. It's appalling.

My original review is below.

I copied my previous review to 'The Times' and got a quick, friendly and helpful reply from a senior editor. He said that they were going to make changes and there have been improvements.

There is now more content. 'The Game', the football section on Mondays, is included. With the end of 'Times 2' and its incorporation into the main newspaper, those articles are now included in the Kindle edition. A major and welcome change has been the delivery of 'Saturday Review'.

The format has been improved. Obituaries and the leading articles each now have their own section.

I still have some problems, though.

The first is that there is still a lack of content. On Saturdays, the magazine is absent (so is 'Playlist', though I can see why that would be difficult to include). On Sundays, 'Style', the magazine and 'Culture' are missing. I particularly miss 'Culture' which is one of the best sections of 'The Sunday Times'. I know the two titles are separate publications but for the Kindle they are not. They are sold as one.

There remain problems with the format. The sports section mimics the layout in the print edition and so reads, on a Kindle, back to front.

Within the sections, articles follow the order of the print edition and so may become jumbled up. With a big story in the print edition there will be a main article and then, on another page, comment and background. In the Kindle edition they should all follow one after another, but often do not. The story on Iran could be followed by news from other countries before we then get Bronwen Maddox's analysis, for example.

Nor is there any attempt to order the articles for the Kindle: large articles are followed by small followed by large; in the Business section, for example, the general interest stories (Kaletsky's column or equivalent on Mondays) do not come at the top of the section.

As others have mentioned elsewhere, no one as yet is producing a specific edition for the Kindle. 'The Times' is no exception. The first websites set up by newspapers were newspapers on the web and not sites designed in their own right. At the moment, Kindle editions are dumps of the print editions and not editions designed for the device.

There is no attempt to engage with subscribers. There is no welcome email. There is no kindle@thetimes, whether blog, forum or email address. There are no offers. I used to subscribe to the print edition and was immediately given membership of 'Times+' and started receiving other invitations. To be honest, living outside London, I had no use for them, but the contrast in treatment by the 'paper is marked.

No one seems, either, to be looking to exploit Kindle readers. There was no ''subscribe to 'The Times' and get a year's half price subscription to the TLS/other Murdoch publication''. There's no link to blogs. The Kindle can be used to download blogs, but no one has told me about the one the 'paper itself has, or Bryan Appleyard's or Andrew Sullivan's.

'The Times' has recently announced that it will charge for access to its website. In a leading article explaining this decision the editor specifically said that readers with a subscription to the print edition will be exempt. Twice I have emailed the online editor to ask if the same policy would apply to those of us who subscribe to the Kindle edition. I've received a reply, but not an answer. As far as I can make out, they haven't decided yet.

I would give 5 stars, and would be prepared to pay another 5GBP a month for the following.

There would be more content. I'm not particuarly bothered about pictures and graphics. I do want 'Culture' and would prefer the magazines as well. I would expect to receive eg the section which was printed for the budget.

There would be a genuine Kindle edition. Within the sections, the articles would be properly ordered: all on one subject would be grouped together; the major stories would come first in the news sections and the general interest columns would come first in the more specialized sections; the news in brief paragraphs would be at the end of the sections.

I would have a contact at 'The Times'. I would definitely have access to the website included in the subscription.

'The Times' should be aiming for excellence in all things. It's not yet achieving it with the Kindle.

I've deducted one * for the missing content, particularly on Sundays, I've deducted another * because, like all the other newspapers, there is not yet a proper Kindle edition. I am therefore increasing my score to ***.

My previous review.

This is a poor attempt.
I have read this 'paper for the last 30 years and for most of that time bought a print edition every day.
Like many on this site I bought a Kindle as it would be more convenient, save paper and in a year or so pay for itself. My intention from the start was to subscribe to ''The Times''.
Taking advantage of the two weeks' free subscription I have also sampled ''The NY Times'', ''The Washington Post'' and ''Toronto Globe and Mail''. All three offer far superior Kindle editions.
There are problems in two areas, the format and the content.
Now that the print edition is in tabloid form there is almost always only one story on the front page. Having a section on the Kindle edition with a single story, is a waste of time, a joke. There should be, as in the others, 4-6 stories, or no ''Front Page'' section at all.
The sections are confused: the 'paper's editorials are not in ''Editorial'' but in ''Features''; the obituaries are not in a section of their own but scattered about ''Features''. All the other 'papers have a separate section for obituaries.
There are too few sections and so they are too big to be meaningful.
There is much less content than in the print edition. Most of ''Times 2'' is omitted. The magazines on the weekend are not sent, including ''Style'' on Sunday so no restaurant review by Gill. There is absolutely no arts coverage. The Arts section on both Saturday and Sunday is not included, nor is the Saturday playlist. There is no TV listing for the week; there is not a single book review.
It's dismal. Murdoch has made a lot of noise about the future of the newspaper industry. Here is a format which offers a way forward and one of his flagships makes no effort. It's pathetic.
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on June 24, 2010
Having no laptop in Spain and preferring the UK edition to the truncated international print version, I buy the Kindle version of The Times here. But, I am at a loss to understand why it is so shabby. The Times has spent a fortune creating and trumpeting its new website so that it can charge for content (which is fair enough) but it sends a vastly inferior product to paying Kindle customers ... I could live with no pictures; I could live with no supplements (although I am not sure why I should) but, oh! those terrible formatting errors... it is virtually unreadable. Come on, The Times and Kindle - get your act together. Two world class products deserve better of each other.
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