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The Telegraph, with its long-awaited version-two iPad app, out today, is the latest news publisher to try reasserting a paid news economy for its newspaper in digital tablet form.
The publisher’s upgraded app, out today and built by The Times‘ app builder TigerSpike, is free to download but requires “editions” be bought inside at £1.19 each or £9.99 per month, paid and auto-renewing via Apple’s in-app payments.
The app functions much like its free predecessor, so the main new feature is the fee introduction. TMG is rumoured to be considering the introduction of charges to its website, too. If so, this iPad model could give it a springboard to do so.
The £1.19 new daily iPad fee is pricier than the equivalent day’s printed £1 weekday Telegraph – and only works out cheaper after stripping out Apple’s 30 percent commission, suggesting Telegraph Media Group has priced the app up to avoid giving away margin. But the £9.99 monthly rate is a big saving on the equivalent £26.40 (£6.60 per week) cost of subscribing to The Telegraph in print.
These print subscribers get free app access when validating themselves by punching their subscriber number in to the app. And lots could do so – as we reported in February, more than half of The Telegraph‘s circulation comes from subscribers – more than any other UK newspaper – there are now 335,000 of them.
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Comparisons with printed editions are appropriate since TMG is now the latest publisher to arrive on tablet with a very print-like proposition. Unlike the previous, free app, the latest comes in finite daily “editions” which, just like The Times, must be downloaded. Much like its predecessor, the app also looks like the pages of The Telegraph and includes hallmark features like Alex cartoons and crosswords.
Unfortunately, there is no trial period for the app, and the necessary in-app edition or subscription transactions cannot be made on jailbroken iPads like mine, apparently due to Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) restrictions.
Coolest feature: night- reading mode, which inverts the street to white-on-black for less light.