I haven't had time to play with the new Rupert Murdoch-backed iPad app, The Daily, so until I do I'll have to rely on what other folks are saying. Apparently $30 million was dropped on the development of the app so someone has their fingers crossed that this will work. Putting aside for a moment whether The Daily has solved the UX/UI problems that media publishers have struggled with on the iPad platform, I'm sure it won't go unnoticed that The Daily certainly doesn't solve or address how we like to get our news delivered these days. It may be good news for Murdoch that I haven't yet heard the howls of derision that greeted Richard Branson's Project iPad app. Here's a few reviews I came across:
Daring Fireball's John Gruber "Nothing groundbreaking, but better than most such efforts to date. The 'carousel' feature — more or less Cover Flow view for pages in the current issue — is incredibly laggy. I can’t believe they shipped it like this. Scrolling elsewhere is OK, I guess, but nowhere near as fast as it should be in a native app. I think the rest of the app at first feels faster than it really is because the carousel — which is the default navigation — is so crushingly slow. (And the page thumbnails in the carousel are horrendously JPEG-compressed. I can’t even imagine how slow it would be if the thumbnails actually looked good.)"
The Huffington Post's Larry Magid "The company says it plans to update the online newspaper throughout the day, but there was no evidence of that on day one. The cover story, 'Falling Pharaoh,' did a pretty good job of covering yesterday's news including the subhead 'Obama pushes Mubarak to quit now as a million march in Egypt revolution.' That was accompanied by some gorgeous photos from yesterday's demonstrations and some sidebars about activism in Syria and Jordan and a profile of Mubarak's sons. All of this was great but as I was reading it, TV and radio news and all of the web-based news services were telling today's news, about counter-protests in Tahrir Square and violent clashes between pro and anti-Mubarak demonstrators. I found none of this in The Daily nor did I see any reports about Egypt turning the Internet back-on; a subject that I and multiple other online journalists had already covered."
Slate's Jack Shafer "Is the iPad really a new medium? Or is it just a new business model? Every media form that can be served on an iPad can be served on a laptop—text, photos, the 360-degree photos that Murdoch got so excited about in the press conference, audio, and video. The only tablet advances are portability, form factor, and touch-screen navigation—all very big, mind you, but as technological advances go, the leap from laptop to tablet isn't as great as the one from 78s to 33 1/3s."
The Telegraph's Shane Richmond "I’ve had a few hours with The Daily, Rupert Murdoch’s iPad-only newspaper. One thought strikes me above all others: if this is the best that journalism’s brightest brains can do, given a huge budget and input from Apple itself then we’re in worse trouble than I thought."
The Washington Post's Rob Pegoraro "Reading the Daily can involve a certain amount of sluggishness. The 'carousel' interface that greets you when you launch it lags behind your gestures, and some turns of an onscreen page also leave you waiting for a moment. I also noticed one outright bug: With the Daily open, an iPad would not shut off its screen automatically, quickly draining its battery."
The New Yorker's Blake Eskin "The Daily will have to evolve, in its content and also in its form. Right now, it feels like a hybrid of the New York Post, the iTunes store, and elements of other iPad periodicals: slide show, video, infographics. Nothing yet can be called a true breakthrough, but this blend can come off nicely: when viewed in cover-flow mode, the type gets compressed in a way that recalls smudgy ink on newsprint, and there’s an editorial logic behind the moving photograph that zooms out from a detail of Tahrir Square to reveal Cairo at dusk around the brightly lit crowd."
CNET's Rafe Needleman "A spin with The Daily shows Murdoch's fondness for the old form, but in subtle ways. While this 'paper' isn't anything like a traditional print daily--it's got video, audio, interactive games, and a can-can carousel view of stories--reading it does evoke the old experience of settling down with a printed broadsheet, in ways that the online versions of existing newspapers don't quite capture. Most importantly, The Daily isn't a repackager of existing online news. The Daily is a genuine, new newspaper, with its own staff and the big budget (minus the expenses of printing and distributing) that running a newsroom entails."