Friday, February 4, 2011

iPad Gets Serious for News Junkies with The Daily

After some technical glitches for the past day (I didn't have the latest and necessary iPad update), I finally spent about 90 minutes late tonight getting to know The Daily, the much-hyped Rupert Murdoch-owned first full daily newspaper made explicitly for the iPad.

The early returns?: Could be a game-changer.

Despite being owned by FOX News and tabloid magnate Murdoch, the 100-page (or so) app so far seems bipartisan, which is a smart strategy. If he can get Wall Street Journal and New York Times' readers to convert, we are looking at the future of news consumption.

And why not? There are videos that are easy to watch while reading other news, a slew of amazing graphics and photos, and really all the content any news junkie could want.

Some of the content is derived from the wires, like AP and Reuters. But most of it is original. The features I enjoyed in today's edition (the app's content is updated more than once a day) included one about Amish and Mennonite farmers smuggling illegal raw milk into New York City and one about whether cell-phone use really affects airplane controls. There were great videos of Gabrielle Giffords last interview before being shot (it's all about her love of the iPad) and Egyptian kids discussing the protests and riots in their country. Interactive maps, polls, and statistics are also a lot of fun on The Daily. As are the movie reviews, with previews.

Gossip, opinions, and technology seem to be pretty solid sections, although I'm not entirely sold on the depth of sports coverage. A positive is that it lets you pick your favorite sports teams, but only for pro sports. And time will tell how well this intensive app will work when being used outside of a wireless area.

I have pretty high hopes at the moment. And if it helps me junk my subscriptions to The Week, Slatest, Sporting News Daily (on the iPad), and some of the myriad sites I have aggregated in my Google Reader, this could become the main source of my daily news.