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More thoughts on The Daily

Mel Martin

I've been reading the News Corp. iPad newspaper The Daily since it came out last week. While my first impressions led to a positive review, the more I use it, the less I like it.

First, it is VERY slow to load if it loads at all (an impression shared by others). Recently I'm getting a lot of black screens and am dumped back to the iPad app screen. When it works, the slow load, which is often more than 30 seconds over Wi-Fi, is just too long. The app should at least display a table of contents or top news stories while it downloads so that you don't wind up staring into space.

The news content does not appear to be aimed at a serious news reader. The second highlighted category is "gossip." The balance of news to fluff is seriously leaning toward the fluff. Horoscopes, celebrity news and other tabloid content just aren't appealing to this news consumer, and there is no way to turn those sections off.

The app itself has a beautiful layout. It's appealing to the eye and easy to navigate. The one exception is the requirement to have to rotate the iPad to portrait from landscape in order to read some stories. That seems just silly, and I hope that will be repaired. There is no tech section -- that's odd for something being sold to iPad owners. There seems to be some tech content under apps and games, but then that section isn't labeled properly.

I thought The Daily was a great idea, and I was impressed with the first day issue. Of course that issue had months to prepare, and getting it right every day is quite another thing. As I use it more, I'm losing interest in The Daily. I've found myself gravitating back to news aggregators, like the free Pulse News Reader, where I can choose my content and get a mix of news that I select.

With a serious lack of personalization on the Daily, other than selecting sports teams and weather, I just can't get the kind of content I'm willing to pay for. The Daily is reasonably priced, but if I can't get get excited about the content, it doesn't matter.

How about you? Are you liking The Daily more or less as you you get increased time with it? Will you pay for a subscription when the free trial is up, or just delete it? If The Daily doesn't get faster, more reliable, more serious about the news and give me some choices about what content I want, it's a goner for me.

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