In November, we reported the launch of the official Washington Post iPad app came with a nice free subscription until February 2011. An account was required, but there was no need to submit payment information. Now that we’re well into February, you’d expect WP to release an update to the app that brings subscriptions in – but apparently they’re delaying it.
The latest update, version 1.2, adds offline reading (finally, you could say, and it works both for articles and entire sections) and “complimentary full-access subscription still provided for a limited time”. What does that mean? Washington Post is clearly playing the waiting game, and now that Apple has announced App Store subscriptions it makes sense. The Daily extended its free promotion as well, and it looks like other may follow as well. Publishers are buying themselves time before rolling out real paid subscriptions on the tablet. Or, they need more time to update their apps to include Apple’s new billing system.
You, on the other hand, don’t have to buy anything as the app is available for free here with a free subscription ready to be activated. [iTunes via TUAW]
The most popular iPad newspaper these days, The Daily, just got an update that aims at improving performances and stability of the app and fix Twitter login and posting issues experienced by several users.
Version 1.0.1 indeed feels slightly faster in some sections from our first tests, although the carousel view is still pretty slow to browse. The initial download of new issues takes too many seconds. Overall, there have been some improvements but the main structure of the app still doesn’t feel as responsive as a digital newspaper should be.
The Daily is available here.
A Typographic Review Of The Daily
Fonts In Use shares our same views on the problems with text in The Daily:
Text typography is still the weakness of nearly every iPad publication. Presented with a device that echoes the dimensions of a printed page, designers — especially those in the news world — feel obligated to stick with print conventions: static text set in justified columns. The Daily suffers the same shortcomings. When the columns are wide enough (see above) full justification works. When columns are any narrower (see below), letter- and word-spacing stretches to distraction, even with hyphenation. I admire the way text layouts change when switching between vertical and horizontal orientation — pull quotes often pop in when appropriate — but the typesetting requires more attention. Articles rarely scroll, but when they do, it works just fine. It makes one wonder whether the very short story lengths are a preference of the design staff or an editorial staff unwilling to put more meat on the table.
It also makes me wonder: will we ever see an iPad newspaper / magazine with proper text manipulation? Does’t that fall under the “interactivity” promised by many publications? [via]
20% Of Financial Times Subscriptions Come From iPad App
The official Financial Times app for iPad keeps generating interesting numbers: downloads have reached 600,000 copies up from 430,000 in November, and the app is driving 20% of Financial Times’ subscriptions.
Ridding, who was speaking at an investor conference in New York on Thursday, said the FT’s iPad app had been downloaded 600,000 times, up from 430,000 downloads at the end of November.
Pearson PLC’s FT allows people to read a set number of articles on its website each month before asking for a fee. Newspaper and magazine publishers are turning to the iPad and other tablet devices to help revive their business, which have been beset by declining advertising revenue and readership.
It will be interesting to see whether Financial Times will update the app to support Apple’s new in-app subscription system.
Apple is keeping the whole in-app subscription thing hush for the time being, but the Wall Street Journal claims that March 31st will be the magic date for publishers to have their apps ready by according to a tip from UK publishing developers, Yudu. Clearing up confusion about Apple’s required subscription model, publishers should still be able to offer services outside of the App Store, but a payment option through iTunes is mandatory. Mostly likely Apple will want a 30% cut of all periodicals sold through the App Store, and whether or not we’ll see services like Kindle and Barnes & Noble jumping ship remains to be seen. For the customer, ultimately unifying the subscription experience in the App Store and getting publishers to price competitively with The Daily will benefit consumers who otherwise pay outrageous fees – individual issues of magazines can cost up to $5.00 per issue, a subscription to The Economist totals $110 a year, and the New York Times can total an incredible $240 a year. Current workarounds for selling periodicals simply aren’t working: Apple’s “fix” should appeal to a much larger consumer base skeptical about the future of digital media.
March 31st is a likely date: with iOS 4.3 and the second generation iPad expected soon, publishers will have a solid month to prepare their content for Apple’s latest device.
[WSJ via Engadget]
The problem with The Daily, the long anticipated iPad-only publication launched today in a joint effort of News Corp. and Apple, is that it’s three things in a single package: an app, a newspaper and a business model. Taking an early look at The Daily is difficult because of its intrinsic nature of newspaper that’s an app aimed at making Rupert Murdoch’s wallet larger.
I have been testing The Daily for a few hours now, I’ve read most of its content and played around with the social functionalities, and I still don’t know where the newspaper is going as a daily publication, or what’s the general guideline established at News Corp. After all, you can’t get to know a newspaper and its feeling after a single issue or, in our case, “refresh”. But I do have some impressions to share, some complaints to make about The Daily as an iPad application and thoughts on the potentialities of Murdoch’s promise to re-imagine newspapers in the tablet’s era. Read more
News Corp.’s much hyped foray into an iPad exclusive digital Newspaper has just launched and it has some high expectations to live up to, not only for consumers but for Murdoch’s News Corporation which has endured a shrinking reader base and advertising revenue. Jump the break for our first impressions and a tonne of screenshots of the app.
OK well that’s it for our first impressions, undoubtedly some of us here at Macstories will in the next day or so write up an in-depth summation of our feelings towards The Daily so keep an eye on the site and our Twitter account for that!
Well the presentation over in New York regarding the launch of The Daily is underway and the actual App itself has now appeared in the App Store and is available for a monthly subscription of $0.99.
Go grab it here.
The team here at MacStories is working hard to cover this launch so keep your eyes on the site and our Twitter account, articles will be going live rapid fire and updating whilst the presentation goes on.
Check out our coverage of today’s launch of The Daily:
- This Is What The Daily Looks Like
- The Daily: Everything You Need To Know About Subscriptions
- First Impressions of News Corp’s The Daily
Full description of The Daily from iTunes and promo video embedded below. Read more
It looks like The Daily’s launch will be live streamed on the app’s official website:
Watch at 11 a.m. Eastern Time today as News Corporation unveils The Daily, featuring special guest Eddy Cue, vice president of Internet Services from Apple. Check back later today for our full web site. The Daily will be available on the App Store starting at 12 p.m. EST.
The app will also be available later today in the App Store. Check for updates on MacStories as the launch happens. In the meantime, enjoy the countdown on thedaily.com.