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iPod NYTimes app or Kindle NYTimes subscription?
August 20, 2010 11:37 AM   Subscribe

Cost aside, should I swap an iPod Touch + NYTimes app with a Kindle + NYTimes subscription? My iPod Touch is too distracting; a Kindle would be less so. On the other hand, I love the free NYT app.

Recently I've been considering selling my iPod Touch and using it to partially finance a current-generation Kindle.

I love the NYTimes app, for the following reasons:
- It reads like a column, and I find it easier than reading on a computer screen. I don't find myself skimming nearly as much.
- Caching. Given 2 minutes of wifi, I have the entire NYT on my iPod and have something like 2 hours worth of things to read. Wonderful when traveling.
- It's free (for now, anyway)
- It has everything in the print edition, except for photos.

I want to switch simply because it's on my iPod Touch. It's a huge distraction and I find myself using it when it's not really socially the right thing to do. A Kindle is bigger, I wouldn't have it in my pocket ready to whip out and use it to ignore people at all times. I also wouldn't be using it to read emails or browse the internet. I think I would miss having the internet in my pocket, but I'd probably benefit from the lack of it.

So, what do you think? Have you used both? Does the Kindle NYT subscription satisfy?
posted by BungaDunga to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I haven't read the NYT on either device, but as a gadget addict who owns a smartphone, I find the Kindle much less distracting than my phone. Kindles are only good for reading, really. Web browsing and apps - all the things that other devices have - they do either poorly or not at all. I will never, ever spend hours lost in the web on a Kindle.
posted by zippy at 11:55 AM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


All other points aside, I find it way more comfortable to read on my Kindle versus my Droid. I have the Kindle for Android app but it almost never gets used because the reading experience on the actual Kindle is so much better then on a phone, or iPod Touch.
posted by Funky Claude at 12:03 PM on August 20, 2010


I can't comment on the Kindle, but I switched from an iPhone to a regular "dumbphone" last year for similar reasons; I was tired of being the rude person in the conversation who was always cross-checking things on her phone, or surfing aimlessly when I could be doing more useful things. I missed it fiercely at first (and I learned that I'm an awful navigator without a Maps app, eek), but it has really improved my social interaction, and forces me to be more creative about entertaining myself. I recommend it.
posted by sarahsynonymous at 12:15 PM on August 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


The periodical experience on the Kindle is wonderful. Very easy to read, no ads, zero distractions, etc. And before you buy the cheaper wifi version, not having to worry about finding APs or manual syncing is easily worth the $50
posted by ConstantineXVI at 12:20 PM on August 20, 2010


Also, the 3G Kindle 2 sometimes goes on sale for $10 more than the new WiFi-only version. Woot just had it for $150 IIRC.
posted by zippy at 12:33 PM on August 20, 2010


If you want your touch to be less distracting, uninstall your apps and turn off your wifi when you're not using it. Additionally, never keep it in your pocket. Wear a wristwatch or (as I do) a pocket watch when you're out with people so you can check the time if people ask but don't have the ability to check your phone or your iPod.

Honestly, the portability of the touch is the reason I like mine so much as a reading platform. It sounds like what you want (need?) is not a new device but a new set of habits.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 12:56 PM on August 20, 2010


On the other hand, Nicholson Baker deeply dislikes the Kindle, and endorsed the iPod Touch.

"It’s enjoyable if you like reading Nexis printouts. The Kindle Times ($13.99 per month) lacks most of the print edition’s superb photography... A century and a half of evolved beauty and informational expressiveness is all but entirely rinsed away in this digital reductio.
Sometimes whole articles and op-ed contributions aren’t there... the July 9th Kindle issue lacked the print edition’s reporting on interracial college roommates and the infectivity rates of abortion pills. I checked again on July 20th and 21st: Verlyn Klinkenborg’s appreciation of Walter Cronkite was absent, as was a long piece on Mongolian shamanism.
The Kindle DX ($489) doesn’t save newspapers; it diminishes and undercuts them—it kills their joy. It turns them into earnest but dispensable blogs."
Most of these objections, it should be said, apply to the NYTimes iPod app, which I have no problems with (the lack of photography, etc). On the other hand missing articles is a little bit of a worry.

zippy, thanks for the note about the 3G Kindle 2. I probably won't go for that one unless I get a deal, because I spend a good portion of my year at school with essentially blanket wifi, during which time I'd probably never use the cellular connection.

l33tpolicywonk: You might be right, but the allure of the thing is hard to shake. If I don't take it anywhere with me, I won't use it, but then why have it at all? If I remove all the apps, I can't use it to read on; if I don't remove my ereader & news apps, then I'll just use those to distract myself, wifi enabled or not. It's a puzzle.
posted by BungaDunga at 8:45 PM on August 20, 2010


Whoops, forgot the link.
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/08/03/090803fa_fact_baker?currentPage=all
posted by BungaDunga at 8:46 PM on August 20, 2010


Have you tried the Kindle out? It's not for everyone. I have an iPod Touch and a nook. I like the nook fine, but if I wanted only to read newspaper articles I wouldn't have bothered, because the iPod works so well for that. I understand about the iPod becoming a tic but do you really want to carry an ereader around? I would at least arrange to test-drive a Kindle or a nook before taking the plunge.
posted by BibiRose at 5:03 PM on August 22, 2010


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