The iPad newspaper, The Daily, is here... and, frankly, it's better than we expected!
Rupert Murdoch and his dream team of newsies unveiled the world's first "all media" newspaper this morning. Here's what we've learned now that The Daily has been out in the wild for a few hours.
Though some early rumors indicated that The Daily would be something of a curiousity—an insider newsletter available exclusively for members of the iPad community—it's safe to say that News Corp has its sights set on a much bigger audience. The Daily lives on the iPad today, true, but it sees itself as the newspaper of the future—whatever that future may be. The fledgling publication wants as many eyeballs as it can get, and the publisher announced that its stories will even be available for sharing on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. To access the full breadth of content, however, you'll still have to buy the app. Did we mention the app is cheap? At 99 cents a week or $39.99 for a whole year, it's very aggressively priced.
Witness a sample article and editorial in their online form. More will be leaked via The Daily's Twitter page on a regular basis. We can only imagine that The Daily will expand even further beyond the iPad as time goes on.
This thing really sings. The Daily is far from the first news app built for the iPad—magazines and newspapers like Wired and The New York Times have had custom tablet incarnations since the beginning. But The Daily is the first publication to truly integrate the iPad's multimedia features at every level. Its text and charts are interactive, its photos are 360-degree panoramas, its sports page can be tailored for your favorite teams—even the weather is updated live. At the announcement, Editor-In-Chief Jesse Angelo showed off a dedicated video-news anchor and widgets like Twitter feeds that can stream right alongside articles. You can browse stories cover-flow style and even record "audio comments" (we'll be interested to see how those pan out...). All in all, the design and user experience are slick, and fairly stunning throughout. Early comparisons to "The Daily Prophet" newspaper, of Harry Potter fame, may not be too far off.
By the looks of it The Daily doesn't take itself too seriously. The paper's main sections are "News, Gossip, Opinion, Arts & Life, Apps & Games, and Sports" in that order. Though it will cover news du juor like any other paper, not too many of the reported 100 stories generated in a day will be perceived as "hard hitting." This is no Financial Times. Rather, The Daily is stressing its culture coverage, interactive features, and sports section. The editors want you to be able to kick back and enjoy The Daily the way you would a magazine or The Daily Show.
While it will no doubt have some bugs in the beginning, we have to hand it to Murdoch's team for creating what seems to be the bleeding edge of digital publishing. It will be interesting to see how the industry reacts.
If you want to give it a try, now's the time. Thanks to Verizon, The Daily is free for two weeks.
If you do download it, share your experiences in the comments.