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IPad as Media Savior? Looking at Some of the Apps

In Entertainment, Technology, Uncategorized on April 2, 2010 at 7:47 am

Just one more day until the IPad arrives and everyone’s world changes for the better.

Or maybe not.

The early reviews are in and, as expected, they’re generally positive though pointing out some of the shortcomings.

One recurring theme in the discussion has been whether the device will save newspapers, help old media stave off extinction?

With one day to go, there’s a lot of indications that the so-called “old media” has embraced the IPad — the website macstories.net, for instance, has a look at USA Today’s app, which they say “looks good and has lots of functions.”

Browsing through the ITunes store, here’s a brief look at what some of the other newspapers and magazines have been up to.

[daylifegallery id=”1270131349573″]

While The New York Times is ready to start charging readers for online content, they also appear to be willing to keep giving some of it away for free. They will be offering the “NYT Editors’ Choice” — which, they say, will offer
a limited selection of news, opinion and features” that you can download, share via email and, actually, looks pretty good. It reminds me of the four-page version of the paper they give it out on cruise ships.

Reuters, meanwhile, also appears to getting on the free bandwagon, offering a “Marketboard” that stylistically doesn’t seem all that exciting but substantively seems to offer a lot of market news or — as they say — it will allow “financial professionals, students and other market enthusiasts to quickly grasp global performance and review documents to better understand events that drive the market.”

Maybe the screenshots they include don’t do the app justice or maybe it’s some sort of staid British thing.

Looking at another free not-very-exciting looking Reuters app — “Galleries” which promises to allow you to “discover a new, visual way of staying on top of the news” by bringing “together the best in photo journalism each day” — maybe they’re forgoing bells and whistles and hoping the product will speak for itself.

The Associated Press also has a free app, which looks okay but I promise you, if it’s half as good as what they developed for the IPhone and ITouch, it will be quite good, allowing you to get breaking news alerts, local news and photos.

Other free apps from news organizations include NPR, the BBC and Bloomberg. Also the Wall Street Journal seems to have a free app like the Times’ Editors’ Choice with one difference, it will allow greater access to stories and content with a subscription.

Not everyone is going the free route. Time Magazine is offering an app that will provide the magazine for $4.99 an issue, same as the newsstand price, available Fridays, just like the print edition, that will offer extras not available in print such as added international coverage they don’t print in the United States (of course leading to the ever present question of do media outlets not offer international coverage in the US because people don’t care or do people not SEEM to care because they’re not even offered a chance to experience the news from elsewhere).

And GQ has already launched an app version of the magazine at $2.99 a month.

Meanwhile, MacStories has a video of scrolling through the ITunes store, showing screenshots of several of the new IPad apps and the website appadvice appears to have a screenshot of every app being offered for the IPad….

Will the IPad save old media? Honestly, I’m not even 100 percent sure what that means… Will some publications make the most of it and thrive while some will try really hard and still have trouble? I’m pretty sure the latter is the case.

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