Editor's Note: One tip that may resolve the frequent crashes -- the App Store description for The Daily is now showing a note stating "Current Daily users: Please delete your current app before upgrading to 1.0.1." This is not the way that app updates are supposed to be done. C'mon, News Corp. You're doin' it wrong!
I've had a love/hate relationship with The Daily. It was a great idea for a low-priced subscription newspaper, but over time I lost interest in the type of stories offered, and the app was downright unstable. Fellow TUAW blogger Dave Caolo experienced so many crashes and suffered through slow loading of content, and he finally just gave up on the app.
A fix was posted last night that claimed to make it faster, more stable and improve the "introduction experience," whatever that means. In my testing last night and today, I can say the app crashes more than Wile E. Coyote. In several instances, the app started up and left me staring at a blank screen. Sometimes the pages showed up. Sometimes they didn't. Sometimes articles had pictures, sometimes they didn't. Apparently the way to ensure it will at least work is to first delete the app while connected to iTunes, then download the updated version and re-install it. Not exactly the "Apple experience" for app updates, is it?
While performance improvements were advertised for this version, load time on my Wi-Fi network remains at about 40 seconds. It's just too slow to be useful, and even when you are in the app, page turns aren't too snappy. I wonder if News Corporation should consider a browser based app, rather than trying to load animations, videos and all those lovely pictures (when you can see them) all at the same time?
The problem could also be alleviated by letting me decide what is downloaded. I really don't want crappy horoscopes or celebrity gossip. I'm just looking for timely and authoritative news. The Daily is neither. Too much of the content is self-promotion, like what a great job co-owned Fox Sports did on the Super Bowl broadcast. With The Daily, I'm not getting the news, and much of the time I can't even load the app. Reviews on the App Store are also pretty rough. I'm happy to pay for a news app that meets my needs, but so far, The Daily has turned into a train wreck. It's a great idea with faulty execution both in terms of content and technology. The Daily is free for now, but when News Corp. wants people to pay for this thing, I expect they will be disappointed with the response.