updated 11:55 am EST, Tue February 1, 2011
Backs Apple subscription support
Sources who have "gotten up close" with the publication are offering an early glimpse at The Daily, which is formally launching tomorrow. The iPad app is said to have a mix of conventional and enhanced digital news stories, the latter sporting videos, interactive graphics and/or photos that can be zoomed and swiped. Some articles may have virtually no text.
News Corp. is in fact said to be including sudoku and crossword puzzles, and ultimately planning to support 3D video. Much of the publication is otherwise described as resembling existing iPad magazines like Wired or Popular Mechanics. The only major difference in the short term will be The Daily's titular delivery schedule, with early-morning updates taking place once a day, although in rare cases extra midday updates may occur.
Parallels with a conventional newspaper extend down to the presence of six sections. Sources say that a matching website will carry some of the app's content, but only about 10 percent, in effect just a teaser. In both cases material should be entirely original, not aggregated from other sources.
More significant than the publication itself though may be Apple push subscription support, which All Things Digital suggests will definitely be announced at tomorrow's event. Companies trying to publish newspapers and magazines on the iPad have complained about the lack of native subscription support, which forces them to offer content for free, charge on a per-issue basis, or tie subscriptions to outside services like print delivery. Push subscriptions should also allow people to receive issues in the background rather than make a conscious in-app download.
A Daily subscription is set to cost 99 cents a week. Content should be free for the first two weeks after launch, though, in a bid to quickly attract readers. As News Corp. owns much of the American media landscape, the app may be heavily promoted on TV networks like Fox, which is airing the Super Bowl this Sunday.