iPad App Review: The Daily
An over-hyped summer blockbuster, The Daily for iPad news application finally was released last week after press announcements promised release dates and tantalizing previews dating back to late last year. Within a few days, the app rose to the top of the free apps chart, and thousands of reviews chimed as users created a clear divide between one-star and five-star ratings. The main reason for the great attention for another free news app lies within the fact that The Daily touts itself as a new way of disseminating news on the iPad. Let's take a look at what this app promises and manages to deliver.
What $30 million buys is a nice design
I'll start with the look and feel, because The Daily app is news itself when you consider how it came to be. Built from the ground up, with a dedicated team of writers, designers, and $30 million in funding, The Daily is a reasonably polished version 1.0 application. I liked both the carousel and top line scrubber (visual browser) for navigating the dozens of pages included. Images are vibrant and videos come to life on the iPad. There is something to interact with through swiping, touching, and tapping to play on practically every page. These interactions feel ingrained as part of the application as opposed to other apps, where they feel as if they were added on just so multimedia could be included. There is also the ability to save articles for later reading.
Daily updates, but will you be able to keep up?
With a solid design to build upon, the content is where the app struggled a bit out of the gate for this reader. For hard-nosed reporting or up-to-the-minute breaking news, you're going to be better off with your favorite news Web site or periodical (i.e. The New York Times, Financial Times, or The Economist). However, where The Daily may succeed is delivering up magazine-type articles to readers on a daily basis. Think USA Today (whose app I do enjoy) with even more graphics, social media tie-ins (Twitter trending topics), videos, yet less news. Any time the Gossip section comes right after the News, I've got to question the priorities of the creators. Also, I'd rather read a magazine (which is what The Daily ends up resembling) weekly as I barely have time to take in my local newspaper and RSS feeds, let alone spend an hour with the supposed up to 100 pages of new content included with each issue of The Daily. Continued on the next page