25 Things The New Yorker iPhone App Doesn’t Do


As an avid reader and proud subscriber of the New Yorker magazine… print edition, I looked upon the release of the New Yorker iPhone app with some skepticism. I don’t have an iPad, so the app for that device never mattered to me. I do have an iPhone, which makes the decision to download or not to download one that I no longer could avoid. I love the feeling of carrying around my physical copy of the magazine, feeling a slight, harmless twinge of superiority on the subway or in the park. “I read real words, not digital ones!” I think ‘smugness’ is actually one of the free gifts they send you when you sign up for a yearly subscription to the New Yorker. That, and a handsome tote bag.

Smugness only gets you so far in life, which doesn’t bode well for Scott Disick or pretty much anyone on political talk radio. As such, I chose to download the iPhone app and join the 21st century at last. After 17 separate attempts to get the app to accept my subscriber information and a very pleasant call to their customer service hotline, I was able to access the glorious content exploding out of the Conde Nast Building in glamorous Manhattan.

The New Yorker iPhone app offers me so much. I get the fantastic content in the blink of an eye, hassle-free. I already feel 50 IQ points smarter just by being able to call up an article about drug-running ex-KGB chess players in Uganda that recently formed a bluegrass band. It’s a technological marvel, but sadly, there are a few things it doesn’t do. Specifically 25 things, which I will conveniently list for you now.

1) Make David Denby any less precious.

2) Make me read the theater reviews.

3) Decipher the meaning behind 90% of the cartoons in the magazine.

4) Update me on the progress of the Curiosity Mars Rover.

5) Explain to me that the Curiosity Mars Rover is not a real-life version of Wall-E, even though I want it to be, because that would be so cute. OMG. SO CUTE.

6) Order me pizza.

7) Convince me that pizza is bad for my figure.

8) Tell me I don’t look fat.

9) Suggest that I don’t date crazy women anymore. I try, but maybe an erudite, educated iPhone app can send me a quick reminder that the girl I met who is trying to stay sober after 10 years of hardcore drug abuse and mumbles to herself in the car isn’t exactly ‘marriage material.’

10) Help me understand why my English teachers in high school forced me to read Chaucer.

11) Debate me on the merits of the Oxford Comma.

12) Play the song ‘Oxford Comma’ by Vampire Weekend.

13) Play any song whatsoever.

14) Develop a cure for measles.

15) Develop a sitcom on NBC.

16) Prevent me from trying to wear black shoes with a brown suit. I just don’t care about rules, OK!?

17) Help me pick a shade of beige to paint my ‘study.’

18) Help me figure out how to tie a Windsor knot.

19) Solve a Rubik’s cube. Look, I’ve tried. I’ve never done it. Am I an idiot?

20) Pick a birthday gift for a co-worker I barely know. Is anything harder than this?

21) Change a diaper. I don’t have kids, but if I did, I’d hope I’d have some help.

22) Refill a stapler. There’s just something so tedious about this task. The New Yorker staff seems like it would relish something like this. Am I an idiot… again?

23) Make sure I never miss another episode of Ice Road Truckers on the History Channel. I hate having to play catch-up.

24) Remind me to clean out my fridge every once and awhile.

25) Allow me to watch the Lena Dunham New Yorker ad non-stop.

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image – The New Yorker