Apple’s iPad has been heralded as the tablet that is going to save the world’s declining interest physical newspapers and print journalism. Now, six months after the world was turned on to the iPad, we here at Fanscape are taking a look at how we’re getting our news on the go.
Since the increased use of the Internet, newspapers and magazines have struggled to maintain subscriptions. With the total number of active Internet users expected to surpass 2 billion by the end of 2010, publishers are constantly trying to find ways to turn online news into a profitable franchise. Is it possible that the iPad can revive and revolutionize print media the way it did with music and iTunes back when the first iPod hit the streets? Possibly.
In a recent CNN report, iPad sales are around 8 million and have over 35,000 different apps. With so many iPads being sold, news and magazine apps have a legitimate chance of monetizing its product.
The number of applications on the iPad that are dedicated solely for the purpose of reading news is relatively small right now, but are sure to grow. In the United States, users have a number of options to choose from. USA Today and the Wall Street Journal are the two most popular choices, but the new New York Times app could give the other two a run for their money. A few of the United Kingdom’s premier print publications have entered the app market as well, including The Financial Times and The Times of London.
The question still remains, however, if the apps themselves will boost enough user interest to turn a significant profit. The concept of paying for online news still seems crazy when there is an abundance of free news sites on the Internet. Although that maybe true, users who subscribe to the iPad apps are literally paying for a digital version of the newspaper, and not simply paying to browse articles online. It could be this very concept that revolutionizes the idea of digital news, and gives print journalism an outlet to create a modern, digital newspaper.
Here’s a little bit more about some of our favorite news apps for the iPad.
USA TODAY – FREE
The app is free, and provides you with tons of news right at your fingertips. It features all sections of USA Today, from spots, money, life, and top stories. You can do crossword puzzles, thumb through newspaper photos, and easily browse the news on the application as it makes excellent use of the space provided.
WALL STREET JOURNAL – FREE (for print subscribers)
The WSJ application is one of the best on the iPad. The application has already been downloaded more than 650,000 times. The application does a great job of literally putting the paper into a digital format, maintaining the same look and feel of the actual paper. If you’re looking for a great way to browse financial news on the go, look into getting a subscription or downloading this app – it’s a must.
THE NEW YORK TIMES – FREE (until early 2011)
Not many papers can compare to the New York Times, and the same is true when it comes to iPad news applications. The New York Times app just released a new version and it’s nicer and cleaner than ever before. In a similar fashion to the WSJ app, the NYTimes application maintains that very same real-newspaper feel. The application features over 25 different sections, as well as picture and video streaming making it wonderful for reading AND watching news on the go!
FINANCIAL TIMES – FREE (for print subscribers)
One of the best publications for financial news has one of the best apps for it as well. . Sleek and fast operating , the Financial Times app offers the ability to download the paper to read elsewhere when an internet connection is not available. You also have the ability to customize the articles and watch award-winning video coverage.
THE TIMES OF LONDON – FREE (for print subscribers – free 30 day preview!)
Much like The New York Times application here in the US, The Times of London application looks beautiful and delivers news to the user in a way that is formatted well and easy to read. After the trial, users can subscribe to the £9.95 ($15.95) monthly subscription fee to still receive news.
No matter what your news preference, there’s likely an iPad app for you. We’ve listed the ones we like best, what are your faves?