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If The Daily launched last Wednesday with breaking news sensibilities and an app that worked It would still have detractors who think it’s too expensive to develop, not “internet” enough, and doesn’t break ground on the iPad. But the negative factor that has built up over the past week, even among people willing to give it a shot initially, would be a lot lower. It took two major steps today to start to turn the situation around:
— The app was updated for “improved stability and speed enhancements”. The process to install it is a little tricky. Users need to delete the current version, which means invoking the “black x” option, then they need to download the app again to get a clean install of the update. The blog post announcing the fix says this shouldn’t be necessary for future updates. So far so good. (One glitch I meant to mention: I actually had a tweet go through for the first time since launch but the bit.ly link to the cover was broken.)
— The Daily behaved like an internet-connected news organization, changing the cover not once but twice to follow the breaking news in Egypt. It started with a classic tab cover of hapless former U.S. Rep Christopher Lee, who resigned faster than a New York minute Wednesday after his extramarital antics and chest shot went live on Gawker. Then, with word spreading about Hosni Mubarak’s possible resignation, it switched to one featuring him. Finally, a third cover caught the disappointment when Mubarak failed to deliver. The headline: ‘Gypt. Each had coverage as well, not a ton, but enough to show they were on top of things. This is the kind of nimble approach they needed to be able to show last week during the launch when they did a midday press conference with an outdated cover. It was enabled by the software update.
One update and one day aren’t enough. The next big step should be to reset the trial clock. The first week should be erased and the two-week trial should start with this update, which so far seems to be stable. Give the people who were willing to try at launch an incentive to come back.
Update: The subscription on the new install runs to Feb. 23, so another two weeks.