The Independent launches updated version of its Daily Edition app on new platform
Version 4.0 of the daily newspaper app introduces a new look for both mobile and tablet devices, with the app now built using the Pugpig digital publishing platform
The app is universal, and downloading today’s issue on both the iPhone and iPad shows that while the look and feel of the digital edition is similar on both devices, the layouts are tailored to the device. On the iPad, the reader is not forced to stay in portrait, often a complaint of readers who use similar apps that are really mobile-first in design.
When this app released version 3.0 in February of 2014 it also proclaimed that the app was on a new platform. But that app was, I found at release, a bit buggy. This app feels far more native to the digital devices and so I think readers will find this a big improvement.
Both versions of today’s paper will weigh in at 57 MB when downloaded on an iPhone or iPad, and the download is a bit slow. But other than that I can find nothing wrong with the app.
One feature I especially like is the way one can navigate the app using article thumbnails. The way one does this is a bit different on the iPhone from the iPad due to less display real estate, but it works well on both devices.
Subscriptions are priced at £2.99 for a week, £12.99 for one month, and £149.99 for an annual subscription.
I’m not entirely sure offering a weekly subscription is a really good idea as it means Apple will be sending annoying weekly notices that the subscription is renewing, but looking at a cached version of the app through Google I see that the newspaper has been offering these subscription levels for a while. I know many magazine publishers who wished they had never offered a monthly subscription level because they have found that these monthly subscribers are hard to keep (again, because of Apple’s notices) and all they really accomplished by offering the monthly level was allowing discounted sales of single copy issues. I imagine newspapers that offer weekly subs feel even more that this can be like holding a tiger by the tail – one dare not discontinue the subscription level for fear of losing those readers, but wishing that they could discontinue the level so as to push readers towards longer commitments.