Tuesday, December 20, 2011

News Corp's Australian division updates its portfolio of highly unpopular newspaper iPad apps

The Australian division of News Corp. has updated its slate of newspaper iPad apps, though readers inside the Australian App Store continue to complain about the lack of content and the high price users must pay for access.

The apps for The Daily and The Sunday Telegraph, The Courier-Mail/The Sunday Mail, The Advertiser & Sunday Mail, Herald Sun, and PerthNow, were all updated for a variety of reasons including bog fixes and added content.

But unlike many of its counterparts in the U.S. and elsewhere, these apps (released under the News Digital Media name) are not to be found inside Apple's Newsstand but remain outside as free standing apps.

Also, each of these apps are paid apps priced at $7.49 (Australian dollars), with the except of PerthNow, which is priced at $4.49. This is price is the one month subscription price – a six month subscription costs $34.99 ($24.99 for PerthNow).

Each of the apps have far more one-star reviews than 5-star reviews, as readers complain about pop-up ads, sparse news content (versus the websites) and, of course, the price.

This pricing and Newsstand policy seems pretty consistent throughout the corporation. The New York Post and Wall Street Journal all can be found under the News category, but not inside Newsstand. Similarly, The Times of London and Sunday Times are also free standing apps, though both are free to download.

Only The Daily breaks the pattern, remaining free and also incorporating Newsstand support.