Apple likes to overload its commercials with sleek sexiness. No matter what product it’s selling – a phone, a computer, an mp3 player – all is riddled with a chic pretentiousness.
The latest to hit the scene is the iPad, and it is certainly an exciting and fun development for the technological world, as there is no better way to kill a few hours than playing mindless games and watching Netflix. While in the commercials, Apple tries to sell it as a productive machine, one area it, and every other tablet, has certainly failed in has been news.
While there are news apps for most major organizations like the “New York Times” or “Washington Post,” all they do is replicate the content on their websites. Nothing is exclusive to the iPad that makes it distinguishable from anything else.
Leave it to Rupert Murdoch to try to change the field.
The media magnate whose company News Corp. has its hand in nearly every media field announced months ago plans to create the first iPad newspaper – “The Daily.”
Available exclusively on the iPad, “The Daily,” whether it succeeds or fails, will change the way news is disseminated.
On the iPad, as with apps for the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry, the most popular apps are the free ones – even when it comes to news. It would be the first of its kind, a subscription-based app that sets the bar for the future, and at only $40 for a yearly subscription, it’s a really low bar.
Whereas other news apps are supplemental to a website or newspaper, “The Daily’s” website is secondary.
If it does well, it will force news corporations to rethink their online strategies. If it doesn’t, it could be looked at as a win for traditional media.
But if this thing fails, it would be surprising. To put it simply, it is incredible.
Yes, it’s a little glitchy and lags a bit, but technical issues aside, it is a mind-blowing, remarkable move forward for news and the way it is consumed.
There’s a front page and a table of contents to help you quickly scroll through; there’s also a carousel – like way to get a quick preview of all the pages and will even mark it viewed so you know if you’ve read it or not. There are six different sections of the paper – News, Gossip, Opinion, Arts & Life, Apps & Games and Sports.
Like a newspaper website, you have the ability to comment on every story, either typing one out or recording an audio comment. It also gives you the option to save the story, post to Twitter or Facebook and email it.
Graphically, it has a sleek, magazine-like feel to it, but with news content to back it up. Even the headers are polished and modern. For those who like the manual interactivity of a newspaper, it’s somewhat replicated, at least as much as it can be, by flipping through the pages.
As predicted, the multimedia options for “The Daily” are incredible. Every story comes with pictures, and a simple turn of the iPad will let you see a whole gallery. The video quality could be improved, especially since the iPad has such a high resolution to begin with. If the video is part of a story, you can read and watch the video at the same time.
Another plus side is the ads are minimal, and while that will most likely change, it’s a good start. They are also on their own pages and don’t interrupt a story.
Since it is a national newspaper, it could draw comparisons to “USA Today,” but “USA Today” looks like a poorly run high school paper compared to this outstanding piece of work.
If every newspaper app was like “The Daily,” it would be a safe assumption that there would be more of them. Right now, it is far and away the best newspaper app out there.
If this is where the future of news is heading, it will be an interesting and exciting place.