Customer Reviews: USA Today, Paid No-Ads Daily Edition
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on August 1, 2009
I am an enthusiastic Kindle 2 the product for reading fiction books. I also like USA Today, and have read it at lunch nearly every work day for years. It is an entertaining smattering of news on a variety of subjects. However, putting the USA Today into the Kindle 2 seemed doubtful to me. Although the Kindle 2 is a great cover to cover reader, it is not yet a great random access device, so I wondered if it would work ok for me. I acquired the trial subscription.

After a day, I was ready to give it up, and resolved not to try another newspaper. I tried to dive into the middle of the paper and navigate to each article I wanted to read. I was trying to read the USA Today like I would navigate a web site, and I found it difficult to keep track of where I was. Score 0 for random access on the Kindle 2. It would help if the main table of contents would list all the articles. In fairness, there are a lot of articles to list, and you can get a multipage list of articles in each section with the first few words. But that is a lot to wade through. Still better access than the paper version, but the Kindle 2 could do better than that.

But a few days later, my local morning paper never arrived, and I decided to read USA Today from Kindle 2. This time, I read it like a book, starting at the front page. I found I could easily navigate to the beginning of each article using the 5-way controller, and stopped at the articles I wanted to read. This method really sold the subscription to me. This approach is exactly how I read the paper version, starting at the front and continuing to the back, and the Kindle 2 was outstanding.

I thought about this a little more. I can get the USA Today for free on the web site. Why bother with the Kindle edition. But a web site doesn't present each article in front of you, for you to decide to read. You have to navigate to each one. You can't easily tell whether you have seen or read all of the articles for the day. I guess that is what makes the Kindle edition better than the web site.

I have to add something about delivery. I subscribed to the paper version of USA Today for a short time. Because we have no home delivery here, most days it arrived in my afternoon mail, sometimes the next day. Not reliable. So I went back to purchasing it off the newsstand each day at full price. With the Kindle 2 subscription, the paper is ALWAYS there in the morning a few seconds after turning on the device. I don't have to find a newsstand, and the price is less.

Needs sports scores, but the Kindle edition of USA Today is a good buy!
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on January 13, 2009
The USA Today via the Kindle is well done. We normally subscribe to the USA Today and the Washington Post. Yes you lose the color graphics but that is not a detriment if you want to read the news while traveling without having to find the paper on sale. Navigation around among the sections and the articles is very easy and intuitive. My husband had never used my Kindle and I gave it to him to read the paper and he had no problem with it. Don't compare the USA Today with other newspapers, for the USA Today gives you just the facts and you provide your own opinion as it should be. Reading a story in the USA Today is about ½ the size of the exact same story in the Post but the Post provides a lot of opinion which I don't need. I form my own opinion after reading the paper. The Editorial page along with the Letters to the Editor are on the Kindle along with the sports, life, and all the world news. Great paper!!
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on December 26, 2008
Hard to evaluate based on one edition, particularly as this one (Dec 26) has a fair amount of its content focused on "year in review" sort of articles. I will try this again when traveling, pairing it with the WSJ. It probably will fall into the guilty pleasure bucket for me and I suspect that the NY Times will edge it out most days.

The Good:
1. NY Times-like layout, using the easy to navigate "sections, articles" format.
2. Word length indication at the beginning of each article
3. Use of sub-headings within many articles
4. National scope of coverage for sports

The Not-So-Good
1. Very few pictures and no graphics
2. No sports standings (they could have really made this a "killer ap")
3. Quite a few of the shorter stories left me wanting a bit more (I know, this is USA Today!)

Net, worth a try at the price, but will probably be trumped by the Times, Post, etc. whose readers want that sort of depth, and will leave readers who like the paper version of USA Today buying their hard copy.
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on January 16, 2010
Not very impressive. I was looking forward to accessing USA Today on my Kindle. The Kindle content is minimal as compared to the actual print copy of the newspaper. I've had the FREE USA Today application on my iPhone for a long time and the content is almost identical to what I was receiving through my Kindle......without the significant monthly fee. If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch then download the USA Today application. You'll save $$$$ and be just as pleased.
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on January 2, 2010
If you like USA Today than you'll like it for the Kindle too, however its not perfect. You get most of the articles that are included in the print version and the Kindle version makes jumping to specific sections and articles very easy. There are word counts at the beginning of each article, its not critical but it is a nice feature. The biggest turn off for me, and lots of other people, is the price. For some reason the Kindle version is more expensive than their digital version online and $11.99 a month is a lot to ask for a paper that doesn't even have weekend editions. All in all its a good paper but they need to seriously reconsider their pricing strategy.
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on December 30, 2008
I tried one issue and liked the format (other than other users), found the content acceptable and very Kindle-friendly. HOWEVER, I balked at the price! Considering one does not get weekends, plus abbreviated content from the paper edition, I found the MONTHLY PRICE TOO HIGH to justify a subscription. If USA Today would reduce to $9.99 in deference to the lack of content and delivery issues, I would subscribe--but not until then. Do you want a bargain with the same info with more depth? Get The Wall Street Journal--same and/or better content with more features at a $9.99/month price.
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on September 30, 2010
My review is less about this particular newspaper but more on reading a newspaper on the Kindle:

After 20 years of getting the local paper, I gave up my subscription in August - they raised the price by 150%, at the same time they cut the content in half. I've really really missed not having a morning paper and was debating subscribing to a different one. Then, I got the Kindle, and the answer is easy.

Advantages to reading a newspaper on the Kindle:
- no big piles of newsprint to recycle (this really is number one for me)
- no newsprint on my fingers
- it comes automatically & means not having to wait for the delivery man
- no need for vacation holds - the paper goes with you
- it is WAY cheaper than the print subscription or buying the newspaper from a stand, and minimally cheaper than the web-edition
- once you figure it out (doable even for those of us who won't read manuals), navigation is quite simple and nice to use
- no having to fish for article continuations on later pages
- font & font size selectable by you
- you can even read it in bed in the morning
- easier to get out from under the cat (are there kindle stands?)

- pictorial content is awful when it's there, and it rarely is
- some of the extra stuff like the crossword puzzle isn't there
- for someone used to the morning paper it doesn't feel the same - the importance of this will fade

Ok. Way more advantages than disadvantages. This newspaper is news-lite, so I'll be doing sample subscriptions to several newspapers to see which one I want. I might subscribe to two - it would still only come to 1/3rd the price of what I used to get.
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on August 27, 2009
In my opinion, this digital version is not worth the cost, given the fact that you can easily use the "experimental" web browsing function to go directly to USAToday and read this and several other periodicals for free.

I cancelled very soon after getting my first edition.
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on December 27, 2008
I read the New York Times daily on the Kindle and think it is worth every penny (and then some...because I even buy the Latest News as well!) While the USA Today (some call it McPaper) is very readable on the Kindle, I agree it loses some of its essential "character" without the graphics. More importantly, it is way overpriced at $11.95 per month. I will wait to see if the price drops before biting on this one. In the meantime, back to the very affordable New York Times.....
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on December 26, 2008
i too wasn't expecting much in the way of graphics. but the stories are well written and (as usual) interesting topics. BUT......its too expensive versus the NY Times. if it was 8 or 9 dollars i would jump on a subscription. don't don't get any weekend editions like the Times gives. i'll stick with the Times for now and wait to see where the price goes.
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