Top positive review
A very good way to read the FT
5 November 2016
This is a review mainly based on reading the UK Edition of the Financial Times on my Kindle Keyboard, with occasional stints on the Kindle app on my iPad Pro and iPhone 3G. If you're just looking for a quick verdict, then I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who is thinking of taking the plunge. If you want a bit more detail then read on.
For openers, you might be wondering (as I was) how the Kindle subscription compares to the options offered by the FT themselves on their Web site. Well, when I finally decided I wanted an FT subscription, I first took out a Digital Premium trial at ft.com. Broadly speaking the FT's own digital subscription takes two forms, a Web app and a digital replica of the physical newspaper. The Web app works extremely well, and the content is very well-presented. But there's one big flaw that I think gives the Kindle subscription the edge, and that's with the ePaper.
Previously, the ePaper (the digital replica of the print newspaper) used to allow you to download a PDF copy of the current issue, so you could permanently keep it. However, the FT have just done a big re-design of how the ePaper and their Web site work, and now permanent downloads of the ePaper are not permitted. You can cache today's copy in your browser session for off-line reading, but you cannot save a file to your device that contains the entire issue. Once you close that browser tab, that's it - you no longer have your off-line replica of the paper.
I contacted FT subscription customer support to be sure I understood this correctly, and I wasn't just missing something. They confirmed I was right, and that the PDF download option had been removed, ostensibly because it didn't work on all devices and so had caused confusion in the past. Now, that may or may not be the reason (one might speculate the easily sharable nature of PDFs probably has more to do with it), but in any event if you pay the FT themselves for a digital subscription, you cannot permanently keep an off-line copy of the paper.
With a Kindle subscription on the other hand, you always have a number of issues cached on your device, and you can instruct your Kindle to permanently keep any individual issue you like. You can also at any time have any previous issue of the FT re-delivered to your Kindle, even going back years. To test this I asked for some single issues I bought way back in 2012 to be re-delivered, and they happily popped up on my Kindle Keyboard a few seconds later. So you have a lot more flexibility here in terms of easily keeping or recovering entire digital issues of the FT.
Now what you don't get with a Kindle subscription of course is access to ft.com. But frankly, over the course of my month's trial I found myself pretty much just reading the paper, and not using all the extra value-added features of the Web site. The Kindle edition of the paper isn't also as nicely formatted as the FT's own digital ePaper, with occasional spacing problems. It also doesn't include all the images or photographs from the physical newspaper, with only headline images being included generally. But all the articles are there in their entirety, and they are always readable.
Now your experience may differ of course. But if your main interest is in the FT newspaper itself (and its supplements - you do get the FT Weekend magazine with this Kindle subscription, in case you were wondering), then the Kindle option is I think better than the FT's own offerings. It's also far cheaper, at about half the price the FT want to charge you for a Premium Digital subscription.