In­ter­ac­tive news with an iPad view

News Limited’s news­pa­per iPad apps put more than the head­lines within easy reach, writes Jen­nifer Dud­ley-Ni­chol­son

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -

FOR hun­dreds of years, in­formed cit­i­zens have turned to the printed page to stay up to date with lo­cal, na­tional and world­wide news.

Fif­teen years ago, many of those news­pa­pers also joined the in­ter­net revo­lu­tion, pub­lish­ing sto­ries on­line and re­cruit­ing new read­ers to on­screen jour­nal­ism.

Now news­pa­pers are pitch­ing a news hy­brid to both au­di­ences: in-depth news de­liv­ered on a por­ta­ble read­ing de­vice.

News Limited launched Ap­ple iPad apps for the Mel­bourne Her­ald Sun and Syd­ney Daily Tele­graph last Fri­day, join­ing the tablet trend only six months af­ter it be­gan.

Apps for Bris­bane’s Couri­erMail and Ade­laide Ad­ver­tiser will join them next month.

News chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive John Har­ti­gan says the apps will de­liver ‘‘ much more than a static replica of the printed prod­ucts’’, be­cause they will fea­ture ex­clu­sive videos, photo gal­leries and easy shar­ing op­tions.

‘‘ Con­tent will be eas­ily and in­tu­itively ac­cessed with ar­rest­ing de­sign and strong im­agery,’’ Har­ti­gan says.

But what do the new $7.99 apps re­ally look like? How will you use them and what hid­den tricks can you use to get the most out of them?

Switched On took the apps for a test drive and quizzed those close to the project to get the low­down. THE news­pa­per iPad apps will de­liver a wide range of sto­ries from the printed news­pa­per, in­clud­ing ar­ti­cles from the news, busi­ness, sport, opin­ion and weekly sec­tions.

Each is de­liv­ered with pho­tos and spread out in an easy-to-read for­mat.

Se­lect a story to read and it will ap­pear at full length, let­ting you scroll down the page to see it all. Sto­ries can be read in por­trait or land­scape mode.

Read­ers can also change the size of the story’s text by touch­ing an icon at the top of the page, and news sto­ries can be shared in an email or with Face­book friends by press­ing nearby icons. Af­ter open­ing a story, read­ers can choose fur­ther sto­ries from a More Ar­ti­cles tab on the left that re­veals a full list of the sec­tion’s of­fer­ings.

Al­ter­na­tively, in a lit­tle­known ex­tra, they can sweep a fin­ger across the page to move from one ar­ti­cle to the next, just as they would turn pages in a printed news­pa­per.

All sto­ries from the iPad’s most re­cent edi­tion will be down­loaded when the app is launched, so you can read it later even if you’re off­line. THE news­pa­per will no longer come out just once a day if you use its iPad app.

A new edi­tion will be dig­i­tally de­liv­ered to read­ers each morn­ing and up­dated con­tent will be avail­able through­out the day, with break­ing news and con­tent for spe­cific read­ers such as com­muters ap­pear­ing as needed.

Read­ers can also en­sure they are read­ing the lat­est con­tent by press­ing the Re­fresh icon on the Front Page.

New break­ing sto­ries are also avail­able with one touch. An icon on the front page launches a pop-up win­dow that lists 12 of the fresh­est sto­ries, or­gan­ised by the time the news broke. YOUR favourite news­pa­per sec­tions, from Your Money to Hit and in­clud­ing the one you’re read­ing now, will all ap­pear in the iPad app.

Sto­ries in the iPad app are grouped into six drop-down menus, start­ing with the Front Page that fea­tures a se­lec­tion of the best news sto­ries.

Other sec­tions in­clude News, Opin­ion, Busi­ness, Life and Sport, and many of­fer sev­eral cat­e­gories within their sec­tion.

Se­lect the News sec­tion, for ex­am­ple, and you can choose to read its front page or pe­ruse the best na­tional or world­wide sto­ries.

In the Life sec­tion you’ll find con­tent from weekly fea­tures sec­tions, in­clud­ing Switched On, Taste and Es­cape. LIKE the printed news­pa­per, this iPad app is packed with sto­ries.

But, un­like paper, the tablet and its in­ter­net con­nec­tion lets read­ers in­ter­act with the con­tent and watch videos.

The app has a ded­i­cated Multimedia sec­tion of­fer­ing a video menu and an up-to-date pic­ture gallery.

Ex­clu­sive iPad videos will fea­ture from News Limited’s ex­perts in­clud­ing TV re­viewer Dianne But­ler, cricket ex­pert Robert Craddock, mem­bers of the Taste team, and Gad­get Girl blog­ger, yours truly.

Users can also check out the lat­est news-break­ing pho­to­graphs in its Gallery sec­tion, slid­ing im­ages across the screen and se­lect­ing them to view in full size.

Top picks: favourite sec­tions are avail­able in land­scape or por­trait views.

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