Mike Boyd

The Daily - A Proper App Done Properly

I've just spent a few hours with The Daily and I'm pleased to say that it's a pretty good app - which it should be given the hype and investment from News Corp and Apple.

The DailyRupert Murdoch today launched his much anticipated newspaper for the iPad - The Daily.

First impressions, I must say - are good.

As an app developer (AppCast), I understand the importance of getting to the point and the News Corp team have done exactly that.

The opening screen is a carousel of today's stories with the lead item taking centre stage followed by a table of contents and then the rest of the "paper" as you swipe from right to left.

The content of the app is fast, fresh and well laid out. There's something Flipboard about it, but at the same time it could easily be the Daily Telegraph. The order of the content is very tabloid - News at the front and Sport at the back with Gossip, Opinion, Arts & Life and Apps & Games making up the middle. Double tap a section to get started.

The photos throughout are top quality - as you'd expect - and the advertising subtle, but this is likely to change if subscriptions ($0.99 per week or $39.99 for a year) don't live up to expectations. There's an odd mix of advertisers in the launch issue - Pepsi, Land Rover, Verizon and Macy's (not owned by Murdoch) and FOX (twice) and 20th Century Fox which are.

Video content is littered throughout the app which has been optimised perfectly to balance quality and time to load. Not a lot of waiting around which is good.

There are a couple of really nice features that are well worth a mention.

From the carousel you can select to view a quick 30 second video overview of the key News stories of the day. Another  feature allows you to scroll through the sections and have a 60 second overview to you. Very handy for those who just want the highlights.

The DailyEach page that's been read gets a little "Viewed" indicator on it you know exactly what you've looked at. Even the Twitter streams of featured personalities are fed live into the app.

The Apps & Games section gets the usual blend of Sudoku and crossword puzzles as well as the hat tip to its origins with reviews of iOS Apps. Interestingly I couldn't get Google Goggles' help with the Sudoku puzzle as the iPad's screen reflected too much light.

Overall it's a very nice app that's been very well thought out and built - but will it be worth every penny of the $30 million start-up and build plus the $500,000 per week operating cost. That's a lot of subs and advertising to chase.

The Daily is currently only available on the US iTunes Store. No word yet as to its availability in Australia, but if I were working at Fairfax Media I'd be working out ways to get to market first.

 


COMMENTS

Posted by Leslie Barry, 8 February 2011

Ignorance, Stubbornness or Genius? Murdoch’s The Daily for the iPad arrives.

With the launch of ‘The Daily’ for the iPad, the latest attempt at re-monetizing news has arrived.
Is this iTunes for news, where the price point is perfect for quality paid news from respected journalists, or is it just lovely eye candy?

Read more here http://bit.ly/guHEHd


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Mike Boyd AppCast Mike Boyd
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Managing Director of AppCast & Head of Strategy at Alpha Salmon.

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