Why The Daily Fails on the iPad
I haven’t always been sure about the benefits of the iPad as a computing platform, but I soon realized why the iPad is the future of learning and social interaction. Rupert Murdoch’s — The Daily — appeared for the first time yesterday as the new “news standard” for entertainment on my iPad for a price of 99 cents a week or $40.00USD per year after an introductory two week free trial. I am underwhelmed by The Daily and I don’t expect it to last very long, even though Murdoch says he spent $30 million on the effort.
The biggest problem with The Daily is that it already feels outdated. The title of “The Daily” is a clue to the point-of-view of this effort; “The Moment” — with rabid updates throughout the day — would have been a much better, winning, title. The only thing fresh about The Daily is its subscription model. The Guardian’s Eyewitness iPad App is much more visually and emotionally stunning, and for the fast delivery of insightful news analysis, you just can’t beat the free price of USA Today for the iPad.
The Daily is also really slow. You touch on things to get action and there is a delay in registering those interactive proddings. The articles are short and pale and wan. Yawn.
Navigation is also confusing. Do I touch a dotted timeline? Do I touch the text menus? Where is $30 million worth of intuitiveness?
The localization of Sports teams is great, but the same sort of customization should be done across The Daily. Give me new and breaking news from my hometown.
USA Today, on the other hand, is fast and dynamic. The App feels like a newspaper in your hand, but it doesn’t behave like one. Content is updated throughout the day.
USA Today responds to your fingers. You understand how to use USA Today on the iPad because you know how to use an iPad. That’s a simple design aesthetic that makes interacting with the App natural and predictable.
When you find an article you want to read, the text is clear, and sizable, and nothing beats black text on a white page for ease of readability. Swiping to the next page is fast.
I am not a fan of Rupert Murdoch and his damaging political proclivities posing as “unbiased news” — but I did have human hopes for the success of The Daily — but I don’t think it has the intellectual guts to survive very long behind a paywall when there are other, far better, freer Apps that already surpass what The Daily tries to do for money.
After my two week free trial, I won’t be signing up to pay for The Daily — and even if it were to go 100% free in the future — I don’t think I’d waste any more time on trying to figure out how to use it as a news source.