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Rupert Murdoch is clearly looking to tablets as a post-print, post-web model for salvation. But, if the new News Of The World iPad edition is anything to go by, he may need several iterations before that happens…
The Sunday paper hit the tablet this weekend on the same platform used by its stablemate The Sun earlier this year – an awkward software engine that replicates all 128 print pages (and those of Fabulous magazine), each of which is slow to load and must be zoomed on before text can be easily read.
The price – free for the opening weekend, then £1.19 ($1.85) in-app thereafter for future editions. That’s £0.19 ($0.29) MORE EXPENSIVE THAN THE PRINT EDITION.
There’s also no suggestion that subscribers to the website will get complementary iPad access.
As with The Sun, an additional option to read stories in spartan digital text, not just the colour page replica, just highlights uncertainty about UI development – the iPad edition of fellow News International title The Times gets away with a single, slick user interface, custom-built for the device.
Using the new News Of The World website, conversely, feels rather natural on the gadget.
News Of The World is not one the publications which rushed, stumblingly, to jump aboard iPad. But, right now, its tablet strategy looks a lot like a costlier version of its print strategy.
One has to imagine that News Corp.’s The Daily, as a brand new title, will employ a tablet-native architecture, rather than this kind of print import.