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New York Times finally gets its iPad app right

At last, as promised months ago, the New York Times has joined the ranks offering its complete newspaper in an app.

NYTimes for iPad: now with all sections, and still free.
NYTimes for iPad: now with all sections, and still free. Screenshot by Scott Stein/CNET

Nary a week goes by lately without another major publisher or newspaper announcing a plunge into the iPad app universe. Now, one of the most famously flawed news apps has gotten its long-awaited fix: the New York Times has updated its app to allow access to its entire newspaper.

NYTimes' previous app: the same, but fewer sections.
NYTimes' previous app: the same, but fewer sections. Screenshot by Scott Stein/CNET

The previous app, NYT Editor's Choice, only offered select stories in select sections; arts, tech, and a nice video gallery were offered, but notable omissions abounded. The app always felt good and read well, and conveniently offered downloads for offline reading, but that lack of content looked increasingly shabby next to other news alternatives, relegating the app to a novelty rather than a resource.

The new version of the app keeps the same look and feel, but adds a pop-up menu of all sections. You have to register to get access to all sections of the paper, which the app says is being offered "free for a limited time." Some might prefer to use the New York Times Web site instead via Safari, but the app has a more newspapery feel, and its offline-readable status makes it perfect for the straphanger set.

It's unclear when and if a pay doorway will be installed in the NYTimes app, but for now you'd better download and enjoy it while you can. Steve Jobs purportedly never liked the old Times app, and it was never prominently promoted on the iPad App Store. It's safe to say the Times should be out of the doghouse now.