Friday, April 2, 2010

European newspapers hit the iTunes store

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Although most of the anticipation concerning what newspapers would do on the iPad has centered on the Times, other papers such as USA Today and the WSJ now have iPad apps ready to go, as do at least two European papers.

The app from Le Monde will set you back 99 cents, and while I can read a little French and I wouldn't trust my translations, it appears that there will be a cost for content access over and above the cost of the app (I think you get that day's paper as part of the app cost).  Though clearly the French newspaper is targeting a local audience, they have decided to be there on Day One -- good for them. As you can see here, the layouts give you a newspaper-like look, while also allowing you to look at individual stories. There appears to be a video page, though the screenshots are not clear on this so I did not include it here.
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The Italian newspaper Il Messaggero also has gotten their iPad app approved and in the iTunes store, though honestly I don't know why they bothered. The app is little more than an RSS reader and looks far more appropriate for the iPhone than the iPad. As it didn't look like much effort was made in developing the app, I didn't think screenshots were appropriate.

I think that will be it for today. There is not much else to accomplish without an actual iPad in my hands. I see, however, that this has not stopped some from already giving us their opinions. Amazing how easy it is to pass judgement when one is completely ignorant on the subject -- things are always black and while, only facts creates shades of gray.  If you enjoy negativism, and you're interested in media news, I think you know where to go.

But I will remind those who are 100% sure about the success or failure of either the iPad, or media's efforts to create a market for tablet publishing, that it took the iPhone about six months following the launch of the app store to begin to transform the iPhone from an innovative cell phone into a media consumption device. While the iPad will be used as a reader starting tomorrow, I suspect we will need at least six more months before art directors and developers begin creating original content, and ways to display that content, for the iPad to show (or not show) its potential.

Have patience.