First Look: Irish Independent and Sunday Independent Digital Edition
The Irish Independent and Sunday Independent has had a presence inside the Apple App Store since 2010 thanks to its app from NewspaperDirect (now PressReader). In April of 2013 the app was moved from being a stand-alone app to the Newsstand. The app, of course, is a replica edition, though that has plenty of features, including the ability to display stories in a native tablet format.
Irish Independent & Sunday Independent Digital Edition, like the excellent app La Presse+, looks like it has been in the works for a long. The app has an enormous amount of content it offers, from news and sports, to magazines and supplements, from the TV Guide to puzzles.
One can even get a copy of the print newspaper in replica form, if that is really want you want.
Adrian Weckler, the technology editor, states in the video promo found on the paper’s website that the experience with the new app “will be a lot more immersive. They’ll (readers) will be able to have a much deeper experience with each news story, each feature, whatever is important to them – news, sport, business, farming, whatever it may be.”
The new iPad app comes with a seven day free trial when you download and install the app. Then, after the seven days, the reader will need to subscribe to the digital edition (though when I tried to enter the subscription page inside the app the app froze and I needed to relaunch it).
In Ireland, subscriptions are €8.99 for a Monday to Friday subscription, €6.99 for the weekend subscription, and €14.99 for the full 7-day subscription (to clarify: the subscription price is set by the daily/Sunday choice, but the charge is a monthly charge).
The newspaper has set-up an excellent FAQ section on its website to answer just about every question on can imagine, though some of the answers are not the best. For instance, one question is “I purchased a subscription but I can’t see the icon on my screen?” I assumed this was going to refer to the fact that the app would be found inside the Newsstand folder, but the answer rather oddly talked about apps showing up in iTunes.
The app design works in both landscape and portrait, with the landscape version using the left column for other stories. In portrait that column goes away and the medium rectangle ad moves up on the page to a more visible location.
It is obvious that the paper spent a long time thinking through want they wanted to offer in their own native tablet edition. The inclusion of a replica edition of the paper was probably an acknowledgment that many readers still will prefer to have access to the print edition, even in a hard to read PDF format.
As of yet there are no reader reviews inside the Irish Apple App Store, only a handful of ratings – mostly positive. This might be caused by having the app launched during the holiday season, though many publishers and developers do this to catch new owners of iPads eager to download apps on Christmas Day.