NOTE: This post is part of our “The 10 Best iPad Applications for News” series. Do check back and view the latest reviews.
The Digital Post straddles authentic, newspaper design and modern innovation. Its ability to aggregate multiple sources attracts the ‘nomadic’ reader concerned with varied and mass content at speed over brand loyalty. It exploits the inability of print to provide user-chosen content and lets the reader pioneer the search from neatly divided categories. This is the major superiority of digital, malleable content over newspapers.
Yet, respect for the authentic, reputable design of newspaper print shines through and Digital Post is trying to pretend it is a paper as much as possible, even the point of a tedious little virtual coffee stain. It is definitely an app. for the pad user that cannot quite let go of the old design; a memory which the ad can sustain with its overgenerous screen size.
1) Usefulness / Value to user
Rundle has designed an easily accessible, content aggregator which provides varying and mass content. This content is limited to a pre-selected choice of news sources. However the sources are varied and from a wide spectrum such as Reuters, Politico and Yahoo News. I think of the Digital Post as one, giant RSS feed in the esthetically pleasing body of an authentic newspaper. So this newspaper is self updating and it covers multiple sources, so there is no need to manage multiple newspaper apps. This is not a watered down version of a print newspaper. It is unfiltered content direct from the sources. 9/10
2) Useability/ Interface
The interface keeps print authenticity whilst being interactive. The method of usage is very simple. Articles are presented in categories on the top panel such as World News, Technology. The user presses to open them and pinches in and out to open. You can swipe across many articles through the usual swiping motion of the ipad. There are also over 200 articles are loaded up instantly without the need to make extra downloads. The screen presents a full article view with fairly large text. And the app just presents the web page of the content without reformatting to what looks good on the iPad screen. People have expressed an interest in Randle updating the app to have an experience like Instapaper or Read it Later.8/10
3) Price/ Business Model
The price of The Digital Post is extremely attractive to the user, being only $2.99 to download with no subscription fee. It is a considerably cheaper price than other compulsory newspaper subscriptions and so it is going to very popular. 9/10
4) Additional Functionality
The shape-shifting Digital Post can play up to the popularist suite of new media tools like RSS feeds, bookmarks and social networks.. You can share articles with your friends and family and there is an interactive photo gallery. There has been talk of people wanting the app to resemble Instapaper.
A personalised newspaper app. with a reasonable price-tag and all the nostalgia of the old-print format.