Category: News, Lifestyle
Price: Free download, free for first two weeks (thanks to Verizon), then subscriptions for $0.99/week and $39.99/year
TiP Rating: 4/5 stars
Release Date: 2/2/11
Seller: News DP Holdings, Inc. (News Corp.’s Daily Division)
Requirements: iOS 4.2 on iPad
Link to app
App Store Description: “Introducing The Daily — the first digital news publication with original content created everyday exclusively for the iPad. Built from scratch by a team of top journalists and designers, The DAily covers the world: breaking news, sports, pop culture, entertainment, apps, games, technology, opinion, celebrity gossip and more.”
Summary: The Daily is a digital newspaper from News Corporation’s marvelous idea makers. This “paper” sets the stage for new digital publications, with the integration of advanced sharing, and even saving to the device for offline viewing. This publication will really set the stage for the new age of digital “papers.”
Review: The Daily is a very robust application, right from the beginning. It offers some great features, such as Facebook, Twitter and email sharing, as well as the ability to save articles for offline viewing.
When you first launch the app, you’ll see a screen that helps you configure some of the basic settings, such as your location for the weather, and tells you that The Daily is free for two weeks, thanks to the generosity of Verizon.
After that’s said and done, you’ll be launched into “Carousel” view, which is similar to cover flow in iTunes and the Mac Finder. As you wait, it’ll automatically scroll through the news.
Along the bottom, you’ll see the tabs of News, Gossip, Opinion, Art & Life, Apps & Games, and finally Sports. Personally, I really wish they would put a Technology section here, but hey, it’s version 1.0.0.
As one clicks along the bottom (to, say, the News section), it’ll land at the “beginning” of the carousel. But because a carousel is circular, you’ll see the ending of the previous section on the right (in this example, it’s Sports). No problem. To get to the weather section, you tap on the weather information.
You’re then taken to a rich, interactive experience with the current weather data based on your location, such as the highs and lows for the next five days, plus US and regional maps. The only thing I found kind of weird in the weather section was that the Horoscopes were in there. It’s not really a problem; it just seemed kind of weird.
If you’re browsing in landscape mode, in a specific category (i.e. News, Gossip, Opinion, etc.) you’ll see a rich picture viewing experience that works great, even on really slow network connections.
(I’m viewing it on a 1.5MBPS connection.) On the bottom of each picture it’ll say “Turn to See Story,” in which case you can just rotate the iPad into portrait mode. I think they could’ve over-layed some text over the images and just tap to get rid of anything. It’s just a little bit of a hassle.
Reading in portrait mode is amazing. It kind of reminds me of the Popular Science app and iBooks smashed together, which works perfectly. Dual columns and images that aren’t pixelated — it’s just a seamless reading experience.
It’ll make you glad that you ditched the paper Wall Street Journal. It’s less of a hassle to read, with very little ads. However, the advertisements that they do have are full screen, which can just be skipped by swiping left to go back to the previous article, or right to go to the next article.
Along the top, you’ll see a little silver dot on a blue bar, that’s where you are relative to swiping. And you’ll also see the iOS sharing icon, to share with Facebook, Twitter, and email, as well as the carousel button, which will take you back to the carousel.
Murdoch made it a point to say that this app is not static, it updates every time you open the app. And since it’s not background aware (one of some of the negatives), you’ll be opening and closing it frequently.
Oh, and one more thing about the Twitter integration. Let’s say you’re reading something about Mike Tomlin. Inside of a little box, it shows all the recent tweets with the hashtag “#miketomlin,” or if you’re reading an article about Rihanna, it’ll show Rihanna’s tweets on Twitter, which is really cool.
Rupert promised us there will be at least 100 articles/screens to swipe through everyday (we’re holding you to it, buddy), and if he sticks to that, this really could be worth the $0.99/week. There’s no doubt in my mind that a nearly ad-free digital publication can succeed, thanks to this kind of revolutionary design.
Lastly, I’d just like to talk about the very few negatives. First, it’s not background aware. Really, Murdoch, you just couldn’t let us have fast app switching? Next is the fact that I can’t read all the articles in landscape mode.
I know, I know, it’s kind of minor, but I like using my iPad in landscape mode — makes it feel more like a tablet then a giant iPhone. Finally, it’s kind of buggy. But since it’s a version 1.0.0, I do believe it will get better with a few more updates.
Now, 9to5Mac was having a Twitter war with me about how underwhelmed they were. They’re wondering why anyone would pay for it when we can just go online and get it for free? Here’s my take on it: Why would we pay for a 9.7 inch screen with mostly iPod Touch internals? Because of the experience, and that’s where Apple and News Corp. are rewriting the rule book for digital publications. And boy, have they done a great job.
Not to mention here in the US, the average weekly newspaper costs around $1.79 (Sunday Edition), why pay all that when you could get a new newspaper everyday of the week for $0.99/week? It’s just a great deal for news addicts, if not coupon clippers.
And that’s about it. It’s really easy to figure out how to use, and I highly recommend it. Hopefully they’ll fix some of the negatives in further updates. As it is, I still think Apple and News Corp. have re-invented the “newspaper.” Do you think so to? Drop us a line in the comments if you agree or disagree.