Hands-on with The Daily iPad newspaper

The Daily iPad app hands-on
The Daily iPad app hands-on

The Daily iPad newspaper just went live in the App Store and this is one of the first, high-profile publications we’ve seen that has been created specifically for tablets. Is this the next step in journalism or just old media companies trying to shove their old business models on new technology? Read on to get some quick first impressions.

The Daily iPad hands-on

The Daily iPad newspaper has a visually-pleasing using interface that relies on swipes and touches to get around. You’re first greeted with a carousel of different topics which include news, games, sports, opinions and other sections you’d expect from a publication like this. You do have to wait for the issue to download – or they like to say it’s being delivered.

The Daily iPad newspaper hands-on

Once you dive into a story, it’s formatted like a magazine, for the most part. You can look forward to big, splashy pictures and text laid out in a coherent way. Some stories also include videos which play inline. That big, beautiful iPad screen also makes photographs stand out.

The Daily iPad newspaper hands-on

My biggest fear for this publication was that News Corp. would be stuck in the past and build a tablet-only publication that tried to shove old methods on to new technology. That’s not quite the case, as The Daily iPad newspaper lets you share stories view Facebook, Twitter and e-mail. When you e-mail a link, the user will be directed to a web version with the notice that downloading the app will give them the full experience.

This is a great thing, in my opinion, because news organizations today can’t pretend we’re in the past where once the ink is dry, it’s done. This app can be updated live for breaking stories and I’m sure it will in the future.

The Daily iPad newspaper hands-on

As for the content, it’s pretty solid and what you’d expect. In many ways, this reminds me of the Project magazine for the Apple tablet, as it smartly blends old-school mentalities with modern technology. Could most of this be done in a browser? Probably, but the user interface and the experience are much better than other news websites.

Is it worth the 99 cents a week? I’d say it is and the first two weeks will be free thanks to Verizon, so go ahead and check it out and let us know what you think. We won’t really get a taste of what it can do until there’s some breaking news but I’m cautiously optimistic.

Oh yeah, there’s a games and apps section which includes Sudoku.

The Daily iPad newspaper hands-on

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