As I watch Rupert Murdoch’s reveal of the first edition of the new Daily newspaper iPad application on Fox News, I cant help but think back to the very traditional commentary by Rupert less then 8 months ago. But it seems like he has changed his view of new media now.
The Daily promises to deliver new high quality news content, including additional media such as HD video and 360 degree photos. The content is dedicated to the iPad, and today’s first edition has the Egypt riots on the cover. This is not the first time I have seen a newspaper application, my current favourite is Press Reader, where I can consume digital content of an actual paper from anywhere in the world. The Daily is cheaper though, at 18 cents a day compared to a dollar.
One of the first demonstrations of the app is a video documentary called Americana, its nice but doesnt wow me. There is a weather screen which looks very much like Weather HD or any other app, they have the ‘carousel’ which is the same as Apple’s cover flow to view all the editions. It has a control panel which looks very similar to a Microsoft toolbar. There is text to voice, ive seen this before on Press Reader which is cool, but useless.
They talk about sharing stories on Facebook, “you can instantly post and add text and audio comments”, nothing new but the interface is pretty good. You can view websites, again not mind blowing. Twitter feeds are included into the app, and the example they use is two famous people twitter feeds side by side. There is an app review section, with links directly to the app store, meh.
It has hotspots, places where you can touch ‘to create different types of content’. You touch a hotspot on a photo and get extra commentary.
In summary The Daily is a new source of news for the iPad, with a swag of features that resemble other apps on the iTunes store all rolled into one. Its intent is to be the ultimate app for the iPad. I have to admit that it looks cool, but there is something lacking here, the the users ability to choose. They have decided how we should consume information, the News Corp way. I like reading the paper on PressReader, reading tweets on tweetdeck, seeing weather on my other apps and adding status updates using my Facebook app – I dont need it rolled into one.
So my first impression is that The Daily is on the right track, but trying to control the way we consume on the iPad is a very Microsoft way of thinking and may push users away. Oh and they didn’t mention advertising in the keynote, lets wait and see how this is incorporated – fingers crossed no full screen pop-ups.