If you'll allow me, I'd like to unleash a small personal diatribe. I promise it'll be brief. But I've been suffering through the buggy pile of crap that is the New York Times iPhone app for long enough.
Seriously, how hard can it be to make this app work? It's so ridiculously simple. It needs to download and organize text and some small photos. That's it. No video, no animations, nothing that reacts to you shaking or tilting the phone. It's clearly very doable on the iPhone, yet it freezes up and crashes almost every single time I use it.
I'll be scrolling down an article and all of the sudden the phone stops responding to either the touchscreen or the buttons. After a minute or two of tapping and hitting the home button and the sleep button with no response, the screen will turn off, the app having shut down. When I turn the app back on, I need to then find the article I was reading again.
In effect, it pushes me to just surf over to NYTimes.com in Safari, as that never crashes and, once I pull up an article, is just as easy to read. But finding articles is much nicer on the app, as it's designed for the iPhone rather than a computer.
And this version is a fix to a previous version that would hang forever when updating, making the app even less usable. And while I appreciate the fact that it updates without locking up, being able to read the articles without locking up would be a great next step.
And the fact is, this has the potential to be one of the best apps out there. Apple showed it off on stage! And since the New York Times is the biggest newspaper out there, this should be a flagship news app. If it worked properly it would certainly be the app I used the most.
I know you guys have bigger things to worry about, like not going out of business due to the impending death of the newspaper industry, but seriously, put a programmer on this for a day. That's all it will take, because in case you didn't notice, this is an insanely simple program, and it shouldn't take much to get it working right. It's been long enough.