Magazines that spring to life with video. Gorgeous, instantly-updated newspapers. Custom-tailored broadcasts. The iPad could revolutionize news along these lines, which helps explain why it makes people so giddy. The new era begins with these nine news apps.
These are the first iPad apps from news producers, the ones that should be available when the Apple tablet launches on Saturday. There will be plenty of more news apps and websites to come, to say nothing of publications brokered through a much-anticipated Apple periodicals store, assuming one eventually comes. Some of these future apps will no doubt be more innovative than the titles rushed up in time for launch, and the apps available at launch will certainly need improvement over time. But these apps are where things start, the first examples of the tablet-based future of news.
We compiled this list by reviewing the more than 1,700 apps shown when the iPad app store opened its doors Thursday, and after conversations with editors and spokespeople at major magazines, newspapers and broadcast news outlets.
After talking with many of the major magazine publishers—Condé Nast, Time Inc., Hearst, etc.—we're not aware of one large magazine that will definitely launch by Saturday. Several, however, are hopeful. If you're aware of others, do email us.
GQ - Of five Condé Nast titles eventually planned for the iPad app store, this is to be the first. The app has been submitted for Apple's approval, and while Condé Nast was hopeful, it did not know for certain as of Wednesday whether the magazine would make it into the store in time for the iPad's Saturday launch. The GQ app is expected to be much more of a facsimile of the print edition than that tablet Wired you may have seen demonstrated on video, not expected until "midsummer." At some point after GQ, Condé is also slated to release iPad apps for Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, Glamour and, most ambitiously in terms of functionality, Wired.
Update: The GQ app is now live in the app store, and we're told it comes with special navigation aids like a thumbnail slider and photo zooming, plus "additional multimedia content not in the print issue: exclusive behind-the-scenes video from the Rielle Hunter photo shoot, bonus outtake photos, and hotlinks to songs."
Time: Publisher Time Inc. is keeping its fingers crossed about Saturday; a spokesperson tells us, "we hope to have Time's iPad app ready at or near launch, followed by SI and People this summer." Time's digital devices strategy is being led at least in part by longtime Time and Time Inc editor — and Valleywag fan—Josh Quittner, who also told us the company hopes to have a Time app ready at launch.
Update: Time's app is now live, with "all the content of the weekly magazine with additional photo slideshows and videos and will allow the user to flip through sections as well as zoom in and out of text and photos."
Eventually... Hearst plans Esquire and Popular Mechanics iPad apps, but not at launch.
NPR: Talk smack about public broadcasting all you like, capitalists, but National Public Radio is coming out the gate strong, with an app already in the iPad store.
CNN: It's called HTML5, maybe you've heard of it? The cable news grandaddy will have no iPad app at launch, but it proudly boasted to us about how Apple is showcasing its iPad-optimized website (see screenshot, left), which shows a customized video player (no Flash!) to those surfing via the Apple tablet. Also, as a company spokesperson helpfully pointed out, "our app for the iPhone works on the ipad. :-)"
ESPN: The sports cable net is supposed to have an app called ScoreCenter XL available Saturday. More here.
Eventually.... A Fox News spokesperson said there won't be an app at launch, but left us with hope we may yet be able to personally hold Glenn Beck as he sobs, as we lie in bed watching Fox News via iPad app. There, there.
New York Times: The paper has an app called "NYT Editors' choice" in the iPad app store already, promising "a limited selection" from the newspaper, "automatially updated to your device." What about a broader, Times Reader type app as shown during Apple CEO Steve Jobs' iPad introduction? A spokesperson was cagey on that; we hear the newspaper may have to sort out its deal with Amazon for the Kindle (like other publishers) before shipping a full-blown app. Gizmodo has a brief review. Free. Full listing (click to enlarge):
Update: A Times spokesperson confirms that the NYT Editors Pick app is all that is launching with the iPad, and said this is the app that was demonstrated during the iPad unveiling.
Wall Street Journal: Also already in the iPad app store, promising a blend of "the best of print and online... touch the stories that matter to you most." Free; a bit more at Gizmodo. Free. Full listing (click to enlarge):
USA Today: Already in the iPad app store, promising "news... scored, weather and photos... updated 24/7." Gizmodo noticed the "colorful popover widget-it doesn't need to be immersive because it never has been." Burn. Free.
Le Monde: Don't forget the opinionated French news journal; it's the ultimate accessory when smoking on the terrace of a café, sipping a Sidecar and oh-so-casually toying with your bourgeois new iPad. It is ready to go in the iPad app store (click to enlarge):
Need to stay on top of market developments while on the shitter? The iPad's got you covered. Just check out the listings below, found in the iPad app store. And don't forget to wash your hands. And, uh, your screen. Oy.