The New York Times Web App Misses Point of Responsive Design

The newspaper’s HTML5-based version doesn’t support smartphones or more popular web browsers.

The New York Times is launching a new responsive Web app built with HTML5 that provides digital subscribers of Times an app accessible through a browser on tablets or desktops with the close approximation to the layout and content of the printed paper as possible.

However, the “Today’s Paper” app doesn’t have much to do with a responsive design that allows developers to create websites that run on any screen size, ranging from smartphones to desktop computer monitors.

Today’s Paper supports browsers for desktops and tablets including Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer, but it doesn’t support Firefox or Opera on any tablet or native Android browser that doesn’t use Chrome.

The new app also won’t work for the Silk browser on the Kindle Fire. In fact, the web app is not optimized for any tablet or smartphone, whether it works on the browser or not. And, while the Times web app does support the three major browsers from Apple, Google and Microsoft, none of them have all of the advantages of employing an HTML5 responsive design by not being able to support Firefox or silk.

The moe to a responsive web app is a responsible one, as the Boston Globe released its first responsive version of its paper in 2011, but it’s also important to allow readers access to the app on smartphone and other mobile devices.

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