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The UK’s highest-circulating newspaper may not yet be going ahead with web fees but it has introduced a subscription smartphone app, priced £4.99 ($7.65) a month.
News International’s mass-market The Sun launched on Google’s mass-market Android operating system this week at an introductory £0.69 ($1.06) for the first month. An iPhone version is due in February.
paidContent reported in October the publisher would make this move, even though plans for the Sun Online website to charge fees, following its stablemates The Times and Sunday Times, appear to have been shelved.
£4.99 ($7.65) is the same pricepoint at which News International sells monthly subscriptions to The Sun’s iPad edition.
The mobile app is updated through the day and includes Mystic Meg’s horoscopes, live football scores, a Sun Scan QR code reader, location-based weather and photo galleries.
It’s not clear how News International will accomplish in-app subscription with Android. Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is beta-testing in-app subscriptions and disallows developers from processing in-app subscriptions independently.
Launch was hit by teething errors, at least at my end. Despite having paid for the app, it will not download to my handset from Android Market. News International later automatically cancelled the order. Update: The issue resolved itself quite quickly.