“The Daily” gets deleted

Update: The original title of this post might have been interpreted as if the publication was being discontinued.  This is not the case.  I’m sorry for the possible confusion.

Since the ipad-only newspaper “The Daily” came out, I have done my best to check out every issue.  Sometimes I wasn’t able to because the app just wasn’t working and other times I simply missed the window of opportunity as there seems to be no way for you to get an issue that came out during the interval between your activation of the app.

When I was able to get an issue, I went through it and always ended up feeling like I didn’t really get anything of interest out of the experience.  The app is quite beautiful, but not practical to use.  The content leans totally on beautiful pictures which look great on the iPad’s screen, specially when you get 360 degrees pictures, but is very light in actual information.

I had been planning on subscribing to “The Daily” if only to keep track of how it evolves, but then I thought better of it.  There are much better publications available for the iPad, which didn’t even require a team of over 100 professionals or 30 million dollars to be available in this medium.  Perhaps its because they are simply bringing an established publication to the iPad, as is the case with Wired, or perhaps they simply have a better idea of what to do.

Update 2: Perhaps Wired wasn’t the best example as it also has design flaws such as the huge download for each issue.  Still, I regard the overall experience as being better than what you get with “The Daily”, not to mention that there is much more content.  I don’t really care if the content is the same as the print magazine as I only read the iPad version.  Perhaps News Corp. would have been better off aggregating news from the various traditional newspapers it owns, instead of trying to create it just for the iPad.

What the team in charge of creating “The Daily” seems not to understand is that people expect that a newspaper will have content and not simply look pretty. There was certainly a huge technological misstep as the app which powers the newspaper was released in what can only be described as a half-baked state, and seems not to have had any usability testing at all.  Even after a couple of updates, the app still takes too long to load and too long to let you actually see any content, as it goes into a “downloading new issue” which leaves you looking at a blank screen with a corresponding message.  This isn’t what you expect when you pick up your iPad to read the latest news.

There is no reason anyone should have to wait that long, except for bad design decisions.  When you start up Flipboard, a great news and social information aggregation app, you get instant access to the content which was available when you last started it, and it just downloads more in the background while you browse through sessions.  Flipboard is a lot closer to the mark of what most iPad users expect from a first rate news organization than what “The Daily” has delivered so far.

Hopefully, there will be time for the technological issues to be sorted out and for the content management system of the app to be improved, allowing the publication to grow and prosper.  In the mean time, I’m not planning on sticking around to as a paying subscriber.  I have already deleted the app from iPad and have no plans of looking at it again for a good long time.

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One Response to “ ““The Daily” gets deleted”

  1. C. I. says:

    As I played around with “The Daily” I started feeling the same way. First I was caught up in the glamour and hype, but eventually I realized the content is of minimal value.

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