San Francisco Chronicle for iPad is the latest major US newspaper title to hit the iPad. It was released today on the iPad App Store by Hearst Newspapers. It includes a sponsored 30 day free trial (with access to all content) and is already offering subscriptions via In-App purchase.
Subscription plans on offer are: Free for current subscribers (great start); $5.99 monthly; and $59.99 annually. Those who take on a new subscription will also get the Sunday Chronicle if they live within the newspaper’s circulation area.
When the app is opened for the first time it’s easy to just tap one button to begin reading it with the the 30 day free trial.
I’ve had just a quick browse around the app this morning, and it looks pretty good. Here’s a few little quick notes I made as I checked it out, and some screenshots:
— There’s a great panoramic image of the Golden Gate Bridge featured in this first iPad issue – a nice touch:
— It’s also got a set of News photo galleries that have got some great images in them:
— Images and videos can all be tapped to view in full screen.
— There’s a Live Updates section in the left sidebar – presumably that should be refreshed often with breaking news.
— You can use a Quick Nav link at the bottom left of all pages to get a Popover with all the sections, and to tap to switch to any of them. You can also tap on the top left thimbnail of the front cover of the section you’re in and scroll through and tap to move to another section.
— Weather and traffic can be customized to your city.
— The Download and Go feature (via the app’s Settings) lets you download the current issue for offline reading. It’s got a slider bar with options for how much or little you want to download (just text, some images, all images etc).
— It offers access to the past seven days worth of issues.
— You can adjust font size on the fly with just a couple of taps.
— Articles can be shared via email, Twitter, and Facebook.
The pages in the app are a bit busy and cluttered for my tastes. I think the content needs more space and just generally to be presented better.
Here’s an App Store link for San Francisco Chronicle for iPad; it’s a free app with subscription options as mentioned above.