The Daily – the first ever iPad-only newspaper – had its first update yesterday. It wasn’t a big update and one of the main changes was promised improvements in performance and stability. So you might ask whether this update has delivered real improvement as promised. The answer is Yes, but only a little. A few quick observations that color my answer:
— The app does now load new issues a bit faster, but still not in anything like an acceptable time. It’s taking between 20-30 seconds for me. And it still does this not just once a day in the morning for a full new issue, but even at times during the day when it just loads incremental updates. That’s still very poor performance. The sort that will have most typical readers running for the hills I imagine.
— The primary navigation method of the app – the ‘carousel’ – still sucks. It’s still jerky at best and unresponsive at worst when using it. Not slick at all.
— The app still utterly fails to remember where you left off reading. So just about every single time you switch away from it and go back in, you have to start all over and get back to where you were previously reading. If you can be bothered that is – I often can’t. This is such a basic, basic element of any reading app – be it newspaper, magazine, or eBook. It’s really shocking that after millions invested and months of development The Daily can’t get this simple a thing right.
Oh, and just for a bit of ironic icing on the failing to remember cake, the one thing the app does remember is to hit me with a reminder popup on every launch of it – telling me the free period with it will expire soon and I should subscribe.
Some of you might be wondering why I stick with the app if I’m so critical of it, as I have been here and in other posts. It’s because despite its many flaws I admire what The Daily is all about. It’s the first of its kind, an iPad-only title – and I’m still fascinated to see how it fares in one of my favorite areas of the App Store. I do tons of reading on the iPad, I very much enjoy having newspaper and magazine titles available on it – so I am still rooting for The Daily to get past its issues and become a top daily publication.
I’ll be subscribing – mostly because I want to follow the title as a reviewer right now, but I hope it will improve (a lot) and give me more reasons to be happy to subscribe.