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PreCentral: New York Times discontinues otherwise functional webOS app

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New York Times discontinues otherwise functional webOS app

If you happen to have the The New York Times app installed on your webOS smartphone, well, we're sorry. The Old Gray Lady has decided that your smartphone is no longer worthy of their attention, and has stopped publishing new content to the feed servicing the app (the last news story you'll see is from Monday, chronicling the sanctions levied against Penn State football by the NCAA). At the top now is a 'note to readers', stating that The New York Times is no longer supporting their apps for BlackBerry or webOS smartphones, instead recommending you try out their mobile website.

While The New York Times is no doubt pulling support for both platforms due to the low number of users left, we can't help but acknowledge that the apps are of the past, both in features and structure and in the services supported by the paper. Since the webOS app was last touched by the Times back in December 2009 (yeah, two and a half years ago), the paper's switched to a subscription model for their online services that limits free article views to ten per month on their website and modern apps to just the top stories. If you want to see the rest, you have to subscribe, and that starts at $15 a month ($20 if you want tablet access).

Seeing as the webOS app hasn't been updated in more than thirty months, the app would need a significant overhaul in order to support the subscription service. Rather than invest the time and money in that, the Times has opted to stop supporting the app all together. We can't say we blame them, but it still stings to have another big name pull out like this. At least there's the mobile site… and a subscription to go with it.

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