Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mini first look: Daily Mail releases online news app designed for owners of the iPad mini

What to do about the mini? Those smaller tablets have generally been ignored because of small sales results, but now that Apple has released its own small tablet some publishers are wondering exactly what to do about their previously released tablet editions? Keep them as is? Create an optimized version (as the NYT did)? or launch a whole new app?

This afternoon, prior to Apple shutting down iTunes Connect for the holidays, a new app was released by Associated Northcliffe Digital Limited for the Daily Mail that is designed specifically for the iPad mini.

MailOnline Mini joins MailOnline for iPad as apps designed for the iPad that reformat the tabloid newspaper's website content. The only difference, of course, is that the mini app is designed for the smaller tablet.

"Our app has been optimised to use the iPad’s and iPad’s mini clarity and size," the app description reads. "We have many features that will allow you to stay up to date with the latest news, celebrity gossip, sport, health, technology and gadgets, money, pictures and more from, the No.1 UK newspaper site."
Releasing a whole new app just for the mini may not be what a lot of publishers would choose to do, but if apps are being developed in-house I see no reason not to do so.

The only thing odd about the whole thing is that the old iPad app apparently requires a subscription, while the new app for the mini requires no in-app subscription to be purchased. But... I noticed that the old app for the larger iPad says the first 90 days of access is free, so I wouldn't be surprised if a price tag goes on the mini version in the coming days, as well.