A few weeks ago I took a peek at The Daily (a “digital newspaper” app from News Corp.) and quickly decided that my time and money were better spent elsewhere when it comes to getting the news. Bear in mind that I am more strict in my evaluation of The Daily because it requires a paid subscription. In my mind, that raises my expectations significantly. The initial version of the App performed poorly in a number of areas, including:
- There was a wait time of over 30 seconds before I could even read headlines.
- The “coverflow” style headline browsing was very choppy.
- I could only see three headlines at a time.
- Although a subscription is required to access the content, it is still full of ads.
It wasn’t long before the first update for the app was available on the iTunes store, and the second, but I never actually installed either of them. Here’s why:
This is bad architecture if I’ve ever seen it. The way that iOS deals with data and files during installs, updates, backups, and restores, is well documented. iOS was designed the way it is so that the developer can engineer his or her App to take care of any necessary file swapping or clean up during App installation or update. The user should never be required to delete and reinstall an App instead of using the built-in process Apple provides for updating to the latest version.
This is the kind of mistake that wouldn’t phase me coming from a free App or one developed by a “one-man” shop. The Daily was produced by a multi-million dollar corporation. It is supposed to represent the future of the newspaper, a revolution in news media consumption and, again, we are supposed to pay for access to it.
I’m still not impressed, News Corp.