According to reports this week, The Daily – the first iPad-only newspaper – is close to hitting the one million downloads mark. Their publisher, Greg Clayman, is quite pleased with their numbers so far …
This puts us in the large pantheon of large news apps … We are consistently now in the top grossing apps, in the top ten or top twelve.
The Daily has still not released any details on how many subscriptions they’ve sold. Whatever that number is, one thing is for sure – it could be much higher if the app didn’t still have some stupid and basic flaws after nearly four months in the App Store.
For instance, if the screen above was not one of the ones you spend most time with in the app, due to how long it still takes to load new issues each day, and even to load updates within each day. The load times are still way too long. And the app still fails to remember where you left off reading – a horrible defect for any app that wishes to provide a good reading experience.
Reports this week indicate that The Daily – the first iPad-only newspaper title – lost $10 million last quarter, and News Corp’s COO says the title is ‘a work in progress’. News Corp have also told The Wall Street Journal that downloads of The Daily are in the neighborhood of 800,000 – not a huge number after three months in the App Store, and no numbers have been given for how many of those downloads have turned into subscriptions.
News Corp are pouring a lot of money into The Daily; it’s known that they spent some $30 million dollars just getting it to the App Store, and they have over 100 staff working on the title. I’d really like to hear how many subscribers they’ve got, and more about how long News Corp believes it will take to make it a profitable title.
As for the ‘work in progress’ label, that seems very apt. As I stressed in my review of The Daily, the title has a large number of technical flaws. What’s surprising for such a high-profile and heavily funded title is not so much that it had major flaws right out of the gate, but that most of them remain three months after it launched. Just as one quick example, the app still to this day does not remember where you leave off reading. So if you’re very much enjoying a multi-page article and switch away for a moment to check email, you’re dumped back out at the front page when you return. This is a basic, stupid execution error – and it has still not been corrected. No wonder the paper is losing money at this point.
The Daily – the first iPad-only newspaper – got another minor update last night, to Version 1.0.4. Here’s what’s stated as new in this update:
– Improved stability
– Increased responsiveness throughout the app
– Improved performance when using offline or connecting via 3G
Once again, the update delivers very little tangible improvement that I can see. I installed it last night and have spent a fair bit of time with the app since. Here are my quick thoughts on it:
— I saw a crash (dumped back to the home screen while swiping through pages) within 5 minutes of installing the update.
The Daily – the first ever iPad-only newspaper – was released just about a month ago, by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. The company poured millions into the app leading up to its launch and has assembled an experienced and respected team of over 100 people to run it. Here’s part of the elevator pitch for The Daily, from its launch day press release:
The Daily is built from scratch for the iPad by some of the best in the business to bring you a package that’s smart, attractive, and entertaining.
The first digital news publication with original content created every day exclusively for the iPad®. Built from scratch by a team of top journalists and designers, The Daily covers the world: breaking news, sports, pop culture, entertainment, apps, games, technology, opinion, celebrity gossip and more.
The Daily has the depth and quality of a magazine but is delivered daily like a newspaper and updated in real-time like the web. Great stories, photos, video, audio and graphics come alive the more you touch, swipe, tap and explore. The customized sports section allows you to follow your favorite teams’ scores, pictures and headlines — even players’ tweets.
I’ve been reading The Daily since its release day, pretty much every day, and I think it’s time for a review of this promising and groundbreaking title …
The Daily – the first iPad-only newspaper app – has had another minor update this weekend, to Version 1.0.3. Once you’ve applied the update, you get a nice little welcome message when you first launch the app. It lets you know that your free period with the app has been extended (mine goes until March 21st) and states that the developers have been listening to users’ feedback – “you talked, we listened”. It also says the devs hope that users enjoy this ‘faster, more stable version of The Daily’.
Sadly, there is really not much at all to enjoy in terms of improvements to the app. For starters, as with all three of the app’s updates so far, the update is not delivered as a typical iPad / iOS update. You’re asked to delete your existing version of the app and then reinstall the app like new from the App Store. If this was a one-off it would be just a little awkward – with three updates in a row requiring this, it’s more of stupid pain in the rear.
I also don’t see much evidence of ‘faster’ thus far. The app takes around 10-15 seconds to launch even when it does not have an issue update loading. That’s still way too slow. When there’s a new issue loading (which happens several times a day) it is still at 25-30 seconds load time.
The Daily – the first iPad-only newspaper title – has had another minor update, its second of this week. Version 1.0.2 is once again all about fixes and performance improvement, with these changes noted:
• Better performance and stability
• Crisper swiping between articles
• Various bug fixes
• Twitter sign-in for sharing is fixed
• Smoother opening experience
• Improvements to carousel rotation
I’ve not been shy in criticizing The Daily for a number of major faults in its early days, so it seems only fair to mention that this latest update does seem to have improved the app a bit. The app is loading new issues (and just content updates) a bit faster. Still not fast enough, but better than before. It is now, sensibly, loading the main navigation carousel and some content elements first, and then continuing to download in the background.
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.
You might think the page of The Daily, the highly-touted new iPad only newspaper, shown in the above screenshot is not a very interesting one. And you’d be absolutely right. It’s one I’ve been seeing a fair bit of in using the app lately though.
The more time spend with The Daily, the less impressive the app is. Seeing blank pages like this, when simply swiping to move to the next article, is becoming commonplace. As others have noted in the comments on my early impressions post, the lag within the app – when loading, when using the ‘carousel’ for moving between articles, and even at times when swiping through pages of a single article – is noticeable and unreasonably long for a publicly released app.
So The Daily – the first ever iPad-only newspaper – finally launched yesterday. I say finally because it has got lots of coverage in the tech blog space (including here) in the weeks and months leading up to its launch.
I think it deserved a lot of the hype – regardless of whether it’s a big success or a huge flop – just because it is a genuine first and Rupert Murdoch and News Corp are definitely putting a lot into it. $30 million invested just in the development stage leading up to its release, a large and very experienced staff, drawn largely from the ranks of well established and large media organizations – and because again, succeed or fail, they’re certainly taking a big swing with this title.
I’m already a big fan and follower of newspaper and magazine titles on the iPad, so I’m as keen as anyone to see what The Daily is really made of. I installed the app as fast as I was able to yesterday, which was not as fast as I would’ve liked due to constant power outages in my area throughout the day yesterday. I did get it installed eventually though and have been browsing it a fair bit. Hit the break for a few more screenshots and some very early impressions of this notable new title …
The Daily – the first iPad-only newspaper – has launched this morning and is available in the App Store now.
It costs $0.99 per week as expected. I followed Macworld’s liveblog of the announcement event and may have more notes on that later. I’ve got The Daily almost downloaded now – here in Texas we have ‘Rolling Brownouts’ in effect all morning – meaning the power is on for 5 minutes, then off for 60 or more all day so far. So I almost got the app fully downloaded when WiFi was briefly available, but not quite.
I can tell you that you have to agree to new App Store Terms & Conditions when you download the app. They’ve added a new section titled In-App Subscriptions. It’s one long paragraph that lets you know that in-app subscriptions are non-refundable and are set to auto renew (and you can choose to cancel the auto-renew). it also informs us that certain publishers may ask for permission to share our email addresses / other details for marketing purposes.
You can find The Daily in the App Store now.
Image Source: MacStories
It’s only a matter of hours now before the launch of The Daily – the iPad-only newspaper title from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp – due to take place at a special event at 11:00 Eastern tomorrow morning.
Today, there are a number of new details showing up on the web about the hugely anticipated new title. At All Things Digital, which is also owned by News Corp, Peter Kafka has given a lengthy rundown on what he says we should expect to see unveiled tomorrow. Some highlights in his article that caught my eye include:
— It will be a newspaper that is ‘both old-fashioned and cutting edge” – that will be a nifty trick.
… But there will be an audio feature so you can have stories read aloud to you. And there’s a crossword puzzle! And Sudoku!