Tech Blog: Review of the New York Post iPad App

November 22, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Kassi Schmitt

iPad app review: New York Post

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    I chose to review the New York Post’s new iPad app.  Both the newspaper and website have really been pushing users to subscribe to the app as it is one of the first publications to offer a digital publication of the daily newspaper. 

    For $1.99, a user can get a 30-day introductory subscription to the newspaper. An in-app purchase of $6.99 or $79.99 will get a user a subscription for a month or year, respectively.  Basically, the New York Post has done what not many other newspapers have done before- they’ve put their entire daily newspaper into an app on digital technology while still finding a way to profit off of it. But just as every newly launched program has its pros and cons, so does the New York Post app.

    Because the app pretty much just puts the daily newspaper into an iPad app format, there are no continual updates throughout the day.  The daily newspaper goes up in the morning and the stories on the app are not updated until 24 hours later when the next day’s newspaper is released. So, if a user wants continual updates on a breaking news story, the app is not the place to go. Head to the website which is great at providing updates.

    In terms on non-linear presentation, the app has a scroll bar at the bottom that allows the user to quickly move from reading a story about sports to the business section.  There is also an icon in the top left corner that allows the user to quickly choose a story and easily navigate their way through the issue.  But when it comes to linking out and other multimedia options, there were NO links and I only found about one or two photo slideshows a day…

    Interactivity and multimedia content were very minimal (huge bummer). There were very few photo slideshows and I found no videos or polls/comment sections through the app. The app said it was going to eventually allow users to share what they read through social media but I could not find that addition yet…  But one of the most unique and creative features of the app allows the user to “Make Your Own Cover.” One can choose a picture and write a headline that they think should be the cover of the iPad app and submit it to a gallery where others can view it. I thought this was the one truly unique and fun feature the app had going for it!

    Overall, this app was just like taking the newspaper and putting it in an app form while making it easy for a user to scroll through and navigate from story to story.  I think the New York Post is headed in the right direction with this app, but they need to figure out how to incorporate more multimedia and updates throughout the day to really take it to the next level.  Although the headlines are a bit more fun and creative because they don’t have to be SEO friendly, the website would be a better alternative for news updates and has a better variety of interactivity and multimedia content.

    Tech Blog: Review of Ebony Magazine’s 65th Anniversary Edition iPad App

    October 23, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

    Posted by Pat Traver

    iPad app review:
    Ebony Magazine‘s 65th Anniversary Edition*

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    *Pilot for future iPad editions, according to Black Web 2.0

    After 65 years of weekly publications, the special edition anniversary app marks Ebony’s first appearance on the iPad. According to Black Web 2.0, “there will be more app releases in the coming weeks and this inaugural app is just one part of their new and evolving digital and social media strategy.”

    The hard copy of this edition of the magazine is packed with special photo shoots and memories of the history of the historically black magazine.

    The app offers everything the magazine does, with a little extra. When you open the app, balloons float up the screen–a cute and effective way of distinguishing that this edition is special.

    There are essentially three main things that enhance the iPad reader’s experience when using this app: 1) the fantastic video, audio and picture slideshows, 2) Ad interactivity and 3) the ability to share the big stories online instantly.

    The best added feature only accessible through the iPad is the multi media content. There are videos from the photo shoots with stars and journalists in the creation of the special edition, picture slideshows from the past and the present and audio and video form old and new interviews.

    They do an okay job of connecting to social media networks by using an option to “share” that story via email, Facebook or Twitter at the top of most of the big stories in the magazine. As far as interactivity goes in general, I think they should look into expanding reader’s options even further, and they might consider linking to some of their sources for those readers who want more.

    The option to touch an ad to get more information is quite effective–I think they should consider using this feature in their stories as well.

    As any pilot, the app is not without its flaws, however minor. The page number on a page and on the finder at the bottom do not match after the front cover. There is a multiple page cover and the App counts it as one page, which can be a bit unnerving when trying to navigate your way through the content.

    The hard copy of the 65th Anniversary Edition of Ebony and the App are both $3.99. I would suggest owning a hard copy of the collector’s edition of the magazine simply for the historic value and the creative content of the issue, but the multimedia coverage in the app adds so much value and poignancy to the stories that I think also purchasing the app is well worth the extra money.

    I think we can expect some pretty cool things on the iPad from Ebony in the future.

    Tech Blog: Review of USA Today’s iPad App

    September 22, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

    Posted by Nicolle Keogh

    iPad app review: USA Today

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    I chose USA Today for my review of its iPad application versus the hard copy version. This was my first time using an iPad, so my overall experience with it was interesting and eye opening.

    The USA Today app offers a lot of interactivity for the user, but is very organized at the same time. The layout of the page, as well as the text and images, are orderly. It’s really neat that the sections of the paper such as Travel, Money, and Sports are listed at the top of the page and will open within milliseconds of the user tapping any of them. The iPad app simply moves to the section you click on and opens to a full page instantly, without having to wait for a page to load like in a web browser (not to mention flipping several pages to get to a certain section in a newspaper.) Navigation on the iPad app for USA Today is simply easier, faster, and less confusing, and that’s what I found most impressive about it.

    I could see what time stories were posted to the web app, and they were updated often. Comparing the app to the daily newspaper, I see how the iPad app is an essential tool to receiving urgent news. With a hard copy of USA Today, the consumer would have to wait until the next day to get the news. For this reason, I give the app a 5 for immediacy/urgency. I already mentioned that the app has an organized presentation, but the first thing I noticed when I opened it was just how many characters there were crammed onto one page. Though organized, I’d say the amount on the page is a little overwhelming, so I’m giving a 3 for non-linear presentation. For interactivity, I’ll give a 5 because I am impressed with the surprisingly simple navigation with the application.  I did notice a good deal of multimedia content, including maps on the weather page as well as many, many photos (and galleries.) I’ll give the app a 5 for multimedia content because the images really do break up the huge amount of text on the page.

    Overall, I enjoyed my experience with the iPad and hope to be able to use it again in the future for news as well as communication purposes. I’m interested to see how other apps compare when the other students write their reviews.

    Tech Blog: Review of Wired Magazine’s iPad App

    September 22, 2010 by · Comments Off 

    Posted by Amanda Oldham

    iPad app review: Wired Magazine

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    Sleek and shiny iPads deserve sleek and shiny apps. Thankfully, when it comes to technology and gadget news, the iPad couldn’t ask for more than the Wired Magazine App. Given that Wired’s main content is discussions and news pieces about new and upcoming technologies, I could only expect the best from their iPad app. I wasn’t disappointed.

    Immediately upon opening the app, I was greeted with a short video about the main subject of the current issue: whether or not watching shows on television is out of date. As I scrolled through the issue, each page was as glossy and finished as the hard copy, just embedded with videos that expanded on the stories on the virtual page. It allowed me to quickly glance at all of the pages from a distance, which made finding what I was looking for easier until I discovered that clicking on the title of the story in the Table of Contents skipped right to the story anyway, which only makes searching for a specific article to share with someone that much easier.

    Although the smooth multimedia and non-linear presentation of the app was enough for it to win a place in my heart, the only issues I found was in how often the app was updated and its questionable interactivity. Wired produces its issues monthly, thus the app is only updated once a month, and in the world of technology, one month can mean all the difference in a rapidly evolving industry.

    However, I understand that the magazine is not Wired’s main focus, and that information is constantly updated on the website, which offers a huge amount of communication between readers and those posting. The app only downloads the pages and videos of a certain issue. While iPad readers may pick and choose which stories they want to read about, Wired mostly leaves the interactivity to the website.