Yes, the long-awaited The Daily is out, and as you could probably tell from the amount of posts I devoted to it, you’ve probably guessed that I was rather excited about the project. Murdoch and News Corps’ association with it should have raised some red flags, but I assumed that Apple’s involvement would mean that it would be more Apple-esque somehow. Boy, was I wrong.
I was planning on doing a big review post, but Andrew over at Magtastic Blogsplosion beat me to the punch, and he gets it completely right on the technical side, so I’ll just point you to that review. If I differ a bit with him, is that I would not have been as kind. I can’t even begin to say how much I dislike this publication, and I’m astounded that Apple was willing to back it the way it did. I’m convinced Murdoch was lying when he said at the press launch that he’d spoken to Steve recently and that the he said it was great.
If we just look at the content, I guess that people who appreciate tabloids will be fine with a lot of it, but for me, there’s no way I want my daily news source to not have a “Gossip” section — and a prominent one at that, instead of a Business, Technology, or anything else section — but even looking at the “News” section, after getting to the end, I never felt like I got a decent overview of what was happening in the world (or even in the US, which I realize is the target audience for now). But even worse, everything is presented in such an ugly manner.
Sure, there are the occasional features or pages that are well done and come off as very magazine-y, but those are the exception, not the rule, and most of what you get are uninspired layouts that not only look bad, but mess around with inconsistent fonts and sizes throughout. It literally drove me crazy.
And what about the promise of amazing visuals? That’s of course one of the things the iPad has gotten right so far, and it’s been the thing that The Daily has been promising since it was first teased. Well, not to say that the photos that are included are bad, but I was surprised by how little there was — I get much more on a daily basis in the NYTimes app, and the presentation is nicer too. Same went for most of the video I encountered. And that 360 degrees photography they kept promising? Sure, it’s in there, once.
I should just stop now because everything else I’m going to write will continue to be negative, and I think I’ve already made my point. Not only am I not interested in reading this publication (but yes, I’ll check in again in a few weeks to see if anything has changed), I think Apple should be embarrassed to have contributed in the promotion of it as the next big thing in iPad publishing.