Remember The Daily? The over-hyped and much-maligned iPad-only newspaper backed by media titan Rupert Murdoch? The first version of the paper’s iPad app was, to put it mildly, a disaster. There were not just major usability issues, but the app also crashed regularly and just felt half-baked.
Today, The Daily finally launched a new version of its app (iTunes link). Why it took the organization this long to fix the app isn’t quite clear. What I am sure about, though, is that if they had just launched with this version of the app instead of the original one, the majority of the original backlash could have been avoided.
A Real Table of Contents and Fewer Crashes
Indeed, this new app is actually quite good. Gone is the focus on the horrid carousel that was supposed to take the place of a more traditional table of contents. Instead, The Daily now actually features a regular table of contents. The carousel is still there and still features the same 1990s-style pixelated article previews, but you never actually have to see it.
The app also now opens to the front cover and remembers where you left off after you close the app (the original app wasn’t made for multitasking).
There are a number of other improvements, too. Commenting is now easier and the app feels stable and generally faster.
Is it Enough?
The question, of course, is if this will be enough to get people to check The Daily out again. The content, as far as I can see, hasn’t changed and still shows the general old-school mainstream newspaper mentality (including a Sudoku and horoscope section).
There is definitely a lot of potential in the idea of a tablet-based newspaper and thanks to interactive graphs, plenty of large photographs and other multimedia content, The Daily is at least trying to be at the cutting edge.
Whether people will pay $0.99 per week to give it another try, though, remains to be seen.