I must admit to being pleasantly surprised by The Daily, News Corporation’s daily newspaper for the iPad. It’s not because of the content. There are plenty of other apps by better established and more reputable news organizations out there. That’s not to say that the content is terrible though. It’s not the right wing drivel (with emphasis on drivel, not right wing of course) that you would expect from the people who brought you Fox News. It’s just that the content is rather light and without very much in-depth analysis.
No, my surprise centers more around The Daily coming from the same people who run MySpace rather than it coming from the same people who bring you Fox News. Let’s face it, News Corp dropped the ball with MySpace. Under News Corporation’s watch, MySpace went from being the top social networking site to being the laughing stock of social networking sites.
That said, News Corp may well redeem themselves with The Daily. The Daily makes the iPad feel like a viable content platform. In short, it’s what the New York Times and all the other big names in news should be doing in terms of iPad content.
What makes The Daily so great? Well, the other players treat the iPad as a glorified newspaper or magazine. They take their content, put it on the iPad, and there you go. But the iPad is capable of doing so many other things than this.
For instance, why are images so… static on every other news app? Ok, you can blow them up. With The Daily, you can pan around on larger images. You can zoom in and zoom out. Some pictures even give you a panoramic view. Or, turn the page and you see a brief video.
What’s even more interesting is the possibilities this brings up. For instance, it might be possible to have a map of a war zone. Or perhaps you could have interactive widgets that help you to visualize the deficit.
Whatever the case, The Daily is a step in the right direction for iPad news apps. Now, if we could just combine its features with great news, I think the iPad would have its next killer app.