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See Also: What they're saying about the Daily

Katie Connolly | 21:25 UK time, Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The Daily on the iPad


Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation unveiled its long awaited iPad news application on Wednesday, called the Daily. Following the launch at New York's Guggenheim Museum, reviews from the tech community are pouring in.

The BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan says if you had to characterise the Daily then it is definitely the kind of iPad app which wants to impress - and impress everybody:

"Sections include news - reports on Egypt and US snowstorms; gossip - an interview with Natalie Portman and piece on Rihanna; opinion and off-beat features, including a report on New York's doggy disco.

"There's so much content it's easy to spend your entire time flicking through pictures and navigating, rather than reading the text of the stories.

"The whizz-bang factor is definitely high, utilising much of the iPad's functionality. There are some excellent visual devices including 360-degree photo galleries, stylish videos embedded into pieces and a neat sudoku and crossword puzzle."

Joel Mathis, writing for Macworld, thinks the Daily is well-designed with a pleasurable, tactile experience, but he isn't entirely sold on it:

There's just one problem with the hype: Rupert Murdoch's new iPad newspaper closely resembles other - often unsuccessful - attempts over the last decade to "reinvent" the news. The only difference, from a user perspective, is that a few semi-new digital flourishes have been thrown into the mix... As a piece of technology, then, The Daily is promising. As a journalistic endeavour, though, it's confusing.

On Valleywag, Ryan Tate has hopes for the Daily, but so far is not particularly impressed:

It's like an iPad magazine, except it comes out every day. If that sounds boring, well, it probably should given that's how the event itself seemed. The product didn't seem bad - it looked nice enough - so much as humdrum, given the possibilities opened up by the iPad. At one point in the presentation, Angelo was even touting The Daily by pointing out that a television review contained a link to IMDB. Later, someone bragged about a direct link to the Apple Store. Woah, slow down with the innovation there, guys!

Time magazine's James Poniewozik praised the Daily's aesthetics, but had a lukewarm view of its journalism:

I found little in the first issue that I really wanted to read beginning to end (besides Havrilesky's review). The story choice so far seems to assume little interest in longer reads; a few stories of two or three pages are rounded out by a collection of briefs and graphics. That said, the real test will be how compelling The Daily is when I pick it up first thing in the morning, rather than at noon when it's already behind the news cycle. (About which: Daily editors say they'll be able to update the app with breaking news, but I haven't seen much evidence of that yet.)
The Daily


At Wired Magazine, Sam Gustin believes the most revolutionary aspect of the Daily is its business model:

The launch of The Daily was accompanied by an announcement from Apple that The Daily would be the first publication to allow one-click subscriptions, of either $1 a week or $40 a year - a departure from the company's requirement that all subscriptions be funneled through the iTunes store.That key change may open the floodgates by publishers, who thus far have largely avoided any subscription model - and pricing - for their iPad editions in part because there was no agreement from Apple to share subscriber information.

John Biggs of Tech Crunch says that there isn't a clear audience for the Daily, but believes that high quality content along with the business model will probably lead to a bright future for the app:

News Corp knows how to sell news. Whether you agree with some of their channels and outlets or not, they deal out supremely popular content produced on a daily basis. While I'd say I'm worried about who they'll sell the Daily to, I believe that the subset of users who read the NY Times and other news sources in Safari on the iPad will welcome a move to a standalone app. Provided the content quality stays high and the news value is there, this could be the first iPad app to beat Angry Birds and, more important, truly bring journalism into the 21st century.

At CNet, Greg Sandoval thinks that the success of the the Daily will hinge on one thing:

The trick to The Daily's success will be in the quality of journalism it can provide, News Corp. execs have said. Clearly, a media company can't charge for an online publication if it's simply stuffing the pub with the same content readers can find online for free, or if it's just repackaging material from existing magazines, newspapers, broadcasts, and the like. Murdoch seems to understand that he needs to hand readers features they can't get offline (or elsewhere online).

Larry Magid, in the Huffington Post, worries that the Daily is already out-of-date in the current media environment:

Despite its fabulous appearance, I found The Daily to be disappointing mainly because the news was already out of date... I'm not saying there isn't a role for newspapers (I still write a column for both the dead-tree and online editions of the San Jose Mercury News) but I think many people have become accustomed to news that's updated very often throughout the day. There is still a role for analysis, opinion and long-form journalism which is why magazines still have their place but if you're going to create an electronic news source it had better be more than up-to-date. It has to be up-to-the-minute.

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