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Quick Review Of The Herald Sun iPad App

Keeping up to date with news can prove to be quite a difficult task. Herald Sun have found a niche in the market and put their resources together to create a revolution in the Australian news market, an iPad app that encompasses all their current news and videos in one easy to use application.

Once you open the application you are not faced with a login page, which for most iPad users is a sigh of relief. One thing to note is the size of the application itself, it’s iPad friendly meaning you don’t have to deal with pixelated images or text plus its quick, clean and engaging. It covers multiple areas of interest, catering to almost every reader’s needs. The app allows readers to change the text size and share articles via email or Facebook, proving to be a very popular feature on the regular website.

The ‘Watch’ section boasts a variety of news videos in crisp viewing quality and the option to choose the video size. The gallery however, does not provide much choice with only one gallery being displayed, slightly annoying if you have no interest in the new AFL draft picks.

The price? $7.99 per month, which one would assume they were getting an ad-free app, however this is not the case with one full page ad popping up every 3-5 articles selected. Unlike the online site, readers do not have the option to leave comments on any articles, or view comments left by other readers.

Overall the application is impressive, informative and very convenient for people on the go. Herald Sun have definitely set the benchmark high for news-based iPad applications, with the quality of the application sticking to The Herald Sun’s standards. It’s definitely a step forward for the traditional news group and will most likely generate a lot of users.

We’d love to know your thoughts below, is this convenient and would you use it? Would you pay $7.99 per month for an app instead of using the free websites? The official hashtag is #HSUNIPAD let Herald Sun know your thoughts too, I’m sure they’re open for feedback.

  • Doogsta

    I dont own an iPad, so Im unsure why you would pay for the dedicated iPad App when you can view the website for free

  • Doogsta

    I dont own an iPad, so Im unsure why you would pay for the dedicated iPad App when you can view the website for free

  • http://twitter.com/millionsofmyles millionsofmyles

    Great review, Rochelle.

    It does however raise a few questions.

    1. $7.99 for the Herald Sun iPad app. What, for $7.99 am I getting? What for that $7.99 is preventing me from going to heraldsun.com.au, that to be honest, is sufficient for all that I need to get from the Herald Sun?

    I question if there should have been an introductory price as there is, judging by your review, a slight lack of content.

    Is $7.99 the value of being iPad native? The consumer will certainly decide.

    Personally, $7.99 is a lot in app land. I’d buy it after a few rave reviews and testing out someone elses.

    2. If you, a Thintank guru, we’re to develop this app. What would you do? What would you like to see?

    In the end it seems to suffer the same problems a lot of “Old Print Media” iPad attempts have, which is, “why when I get go to your website and get the same content for free?”

    Another thing, launching on the eve of iOS 4.2. Let’s hope it doesnt bring the app to it’s knees.

    Welcome to the dawn of the new world Herald Sun.

  • Rochelle Gunaratnam

    True, if you don’t own an iPad, the app is virtually useless but I do believe it’s a great convenience for iPad users as they can check the news on the go in a convenient form rather than having a bulky news paper. It’s definitely a win for iPad users as most news applications are made for the iPhone, therefore a lot of the content is pixelated and not iPad friendly.

  • http://twitter.com/millionsofmyles Myles Harris

    Great review, Rochelle.

    It does however raise a few questions.

    1. $7.99 for the Herald Sun iPad app. What, for $7.99 am I getting? What for that $7.99 is preventing me from going to heraldsun.com.au, that to be honest, is sufficient for all that I need to get from the Herald Sun?

    I question if there should have been an introductory price as there is, judging by your review, a slight lack of content.

    Is $7.99 the value of being iPad native? The consumer will certainly decide.

    Personally, $7.99 is a lot in app land. I’d buy it after a few rave reviews and testing out someone elses.

    2. If you, a Thintank guru, we’re to develop this app. What would you do? What would you like to see?

    In the end it seems to suffer the same problems a lot of “Old Print Media” iPad attempts have, which is, “why when I get go to your website and get the same content for free?”

    Another thing, launching on the eve of iOS 4.2. Let’s hope it doesnt bring the app to it’s knees.

    Welcome to the dawn of the new world Herald Sun.

  • Rochelle Gunaratnam

    True, if you don’t own an iPad, the app is virtually useless but I do believe it’s a great convenience for iPad users as they can check the news on the go in a convenient form rather than having a bulky news paper. It’s definitely a win for iPad users as most news applications are made for the iPhone, therefore a lot of the content is pixelated and not iPad friendly.

  • Steve

    Would definitely use it! I link bounce all night every night. It would be nice to sit on website for a while and work through all the news of the day. $7.99? Should be able to squeeze that out of the wallet :)

  • Steve

    Would definitely use it! I link bounce all night every night. It would be nice to sit on website for a while and work through all the news of the day. $7.99? Should be able to squeeze that out of the wallet :)

  • http://twitter.com/SimplyXen ZEN PANG

    I jumped the digital bandwagon and got “The Australian” iPad app few months ago when it was first launched. And if “The Herald Sun” app is anything like it I really fail to see the point in paying a monthly subscription for content which I can get *mostly* freely.

    To get me as a subscriber I think the app will have to provide me additional value (not just being cheaper than buying the actual newspaper) that can’t be get elsewhere, otherwise I can’t see myself using it.

  • http://twitter.com/SimplyXen ZEN PANG

    I jumped the digital bandwagon and got “The Australian” iPad app few months ago when it was first launched. And if “The Herald Sun” app is anything like it I really fail to see the point in paying a monthly subscription for content which I can get *mostly* freely.

    To get me as a subscriber I think the app will have to provide me additional value (not just being cheaper than buying the actual newspaper) that can’t be get elsewhere, otherwise I can’t see myself using it.

  • ambertee

    Great article Rochelle! Is their app really revolutionary though? I thought The Australian newspaper launched the first iPad app earlier this year? First thing I thought after reading your article was ‘Would I pay $7.99 per month?’ No way! I’m pretty sure The Australian iPad app is $4.99 per month. I wouldn’t even pay that. Not when it’s possible to get pretty much the same content for free via the website. Especially not when it comes with ads.
    I like the idea of a news-based app. I love breaking news & knowing stuff :-) Paying for it though is another thing altogether. Maybe that’s just because I’m a tight-a$$.
    Having said all of the above – I get most of my breaking news directly from Twitter (including from @theheraldsun)
    Interested to check it out the app though.

    Cheers for the review.

  • ambertee

    Great article Rochelle! Is their app really revolutionary though? I thought The Australian newspaper launched the first iPad app earlier this year? First thing I thought after reading your article was ‘Would I pay $7.99 per month?’ No way! I’m pretty sure The Australian iPad app is $4.99 per month. I wouldn’t even pay that. Not when it’s possible to get pretty much the same content for free via the website. Especially not when it comes with ads.
    I like the idea of a news-based app. I love breaking news & knowing stuff :-) Paying for it though is another thing altogether. Maybe that’s just because I’m a tight-a$$.
    Having said all of the above – I get most of my breaking news directly from Twitter (including from @theheraldsun)
    Interested to check it out the app though.

    Cheers for the review.

  • http://twitter.com/heartrochelle Rochelle Gunaratnam

    Hi Myles,

    You raise some great points, what exactly are consumers getting for their monthly subscription of $7.99 that is different from the website itself? To be completely honest, I think the answer is not a lot else. The layout of the application is impressive and the concept poses a lot of pro’s in terms of convenience, however I am unsure as to whether or not there is “exclusive” content on the iPad app, I would assume there isn’t however I am not 100% sure.

    What would I do differently? I think a great idea would be for them to create an iPad mag (similar to their body & soul, Sunday mag etc) specifically for iPad users outlining things that they would want to know about – and make that content exclusive. People want exclusivity so even exclusive competitions for iPad users. I would expand the gallery section – we are very visual so I think giving people the choice as to what images they wanted to view would be an added bonus. Get rid of the ads, most people assume that if you pay for an app then you don’t get ads. I’m sure there is a lot more I would add to it but I’ll leave it at that for now.

    Agree with the iOS 4.2, let’s hope it survives the update!

  • http://twitter.com/heartrochelle Rochelle Gunaratnam

    Hi Myles,

    You raise some great points, what exactly are consumers getting for their monthly subscription of $7.99 that is different from the website itself? To be completely honest, I think the answer is not a lot else. The layout of the application is impressive and the concept poses a lot of pro’s in terms of convenience, however I am unsure as to whether or not there is “exclusive” content on the iPad app, I would assume there isn’t however I am not 100% sure.

    What would I do differently? I think a great idea would be for them to create an iPad mag (similar to their body & soul, Sunday mag etc) specifically for iPad users outlining things that they would want to know about – and make that content exclusive. People want exclusivity so even exclusive competitions for iPad users. I would expand the gallery section – we are very visual so I think giving people the choice as to what images they wanted to view would be an added bonus. Get rid of the ads, most people assume that if you pay for an app then you don’t get ads. I’m sure there is a lot more I would add to it but I’ll leave it at that for now.

    Agree with the iOS 4.2, let’s hope it survives the update!

  • http://twitter.com/heartrochelle Rochelle Gunaratnam

    I agree, exclusivity is what these applications need to provide, give people a reason to invest in their news app over someone else.

  • http://twitter.com/heartrochelle Rochelle Gunaratnam

    I agree, exclusivity is what these applications need to provide, give people a reason to invest in their news app over someone else. However, I haven’t tried the Australian iPad app so I am not sure how similar the two are..

  • http://twitter.com/anthonyalsop Anthony Alsop

    Great review! Pricing points for these apps will be the true test, the app may be great but at $7.99 a month, I don’t think it will work. The apple consumer is used to making small one off purchases, not signing up for a monthly plan for an app. That will be the make or break I reckon, but great to see theyre putting themselves out there

  • http://twitter.com/anthonyalsop Anthony Alsop

    Great review! Pricing points for these apps will be the true test, the app may be great but at $7.99 a month, I don’t think it will work. The apple consumer is used to making small one off purchases, not signing up for a monthly plan for an app. That will be the make or break I reckon, but great to see theyre putting themselves out there

  • Heathevans

    This is great stuff…I reckon this is clearly where newspapers are heading and if it was valuable enough then I would buy it for sure…great little article

  • Heathevans

    This is great stuff…I reckon this is clearly where newspapers are heading and if it was valuable enough then I would buy it for sure…great little article

  • http://twitter.com/Filbo_ Fil Sarna

    Great app for the iPad crew out there!
    Lack of ‘Comments’ access is a real shame for the social aspect of the app though. I’m glad they allow you to still share articles through Facebook & email!

    With the news & print industry in particular struggling to generate online revenue, charging for the app is a logical idea.

    Although I initially baulked at the idea of a $7.99 subscription, at $0.26 per day, it’s actually pretty reasonable (as annoying as the full-page ads are!!).

  • http://twitter.com/Filbo_ Fil Sarna

    Great app for the iPad crew out there!
    Lack of ‘Comments’ access is a real shame for the social aspect of the app though. I’m glad they allow you to still share articles through Facebook & email!

    With the news & print industry in particular struggling to generate online revenue, charging for the app is a logical idea.

    Although I initially baulked at the idea of a $7.99 subscription, at $0.26 per day, it’s actually pretty reasonable (as annoying as the full-page ads are!!).

  • JT

    When I finally convert to the Mac World and get myself all the goodies, I think this would be a great app for an iPad.

    The price seems reasonable and perhaps this the direction ALL newspaper should head?

    Is the first one in Australia? World?

  • JT

    When I finally convert to the Mac World and get myself all the goodies, I think this would be a great app for an iPad.

    The price seems reasonable and perhaps this the direction ALL newspaper should head?

    Is the first one in Australia? World?

  • http://twitter.com/thinktankmedia Ben Acott

    probably the best 3 hour comment iv seen yet :p

  • http://twitter.com/thinktankmedia Ben Acott

    probably the best 3 hour comment iv seen yet :p

  • http://twitter.com/heartrochelle Rochelle Gunaratnam

    Not the first one in Australia JT, its the second here however I’m not sure where it is on a world scale – it is a great app, definitely worth checking out. I guess whether all newspapers should head in this direction really depends on the demand for apps such as these and whether or not people are willing/wanting to pay for content that can be viewed for free online, and the traditional aspect of reading the news. It’s all very debatable, and really up to personal discretion.

  • http://twitter.com/heartrochelle Rochelle Gunaratnam

    Not the first one in Australia JT, its the second here however I’m not sure where it is on a world scale – it is a great app, definitely worth checking out. I guess whether all newspapers should head in this direction really depends on the demand for apps such as these and whether or not people are willing/wanting to pay for content that can be viewed for free online, and the traditional aspect of reading the news. It’s all very debatable, and really up to personal discretion.

  • http://twitter.com/heartrochelle Rochelle Gunaratnam

    I have to agree with you Anthony, it may be the pricing point that makes or breaks this app. Translated yearly this app would cost $95.88 per year and 26 cents per day. However how much of the content is free to view online?

  • http://twitter.com/heartrochelle Rochelle Gunaratnam

    I have to agree with you Anthony, it may be the pricing point that makes or breaks this app. Translated yearly this app would cost $95.88 per year and 26 cents per day. However how much of the content is free to view online?

  • http://twitter.com/KirstenReaney Kirsten Reaney

    The only dislike I could have for this app would be a full page advertisement…… every 3-5 articles!….way too blatant!

    Smaller advertisements here and there rather than one monstrous advertisement.

    For example, today even ninemsn.com features a huge ‘Rhianna’ perfume ad that takes over the whole page…..it actually discourages me going to the site…..and I am not even paying for it!

    I think this could possibly be a reaction to the amount of large advertisement on the iPad app – especially if you are paying for it…

    Who wants to pay $7.99 to be advertised to?

  • http://twitter.com/KirstenReaney Kirsten Reaney

    The only dislike I could have for this app would be a full page advertisement…… every 3-5 articles!….way too blatant!

    Smaller advertisements here and there rather than one monstrous advertisement.

    For example, today even ninemsn.com features a huge ‘Rhianna’ perfume ad that takes over the whole page…..it actually discourages me going to the site…..and I am not even paying for it!

    I think this could possibly be a reaction to the amount of large advertisement on the iPad app – especially if you are paying for it…

    Who wants to pay $7.99 to be advertised to?

  • http://twitter.com/heartrochelle Rochelle Gunaratnam

    Very true Kirsten, most people would assume that if you’re paying for the app then you wont get ads, especially $7.99 per month, I can understand the need for print media organisations to gain revenue from their online/web-based channels however it does pose quite a barrier. Personally, I can deal with the ads but I’m not sure the rest of Australia can..

  • http://twitter.com/heartrochelle Rochelle Gunaratnam

    Very true Kirsten, most people would assume that if you’re paying for the app then you wont get ads, especially $7.99 per month, I can understand the need for print media organisations to gain revenue from their online/web-based channels however it does pose quite a barrier. Personally, I can deal with the ads but I’m not sure the rest of Australia can..

  • Commentor

    kk

  • Commentor

    kk

  • Anonymous

    Hi Rochelle and ThinkTank Co,

    some really great discussion points raised here. Wonder how many copies of the app have been subscribed to?

    It’s interesting how the world of Apple Apps works. Most of the content in many of the apps is available free of charge yet there are App fans that prefer having their content and information delivered via an App rather than visiting a website.

    One of the core principles of sharing content via social media is delivering organised information to information consumers in a variety of methods. Some like video. Some like blogs. Some like podcasts. As a content producer you produce content for your audience. So if you do videos you don’t really care about trying to reach the people who prefer text blogs. Yes you miss out on thousands more consumers but that’s your decision and it’s quite ok.

    Apps are a little bit like that. Those that produce them don’t really care about the people who go visit the website for their information because there are people who prefer apps and that’s who they build the app for. They’re focusing on reaching a specific market.

    “Never teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the hell out of the pig” or in other words, Apple produce products and services for people who like Apple, do they need to worry about the rest?

    Great work Rochelle!

    AJ~

  • Anonymous

    Hi Rochelle and ThinkTank Co,

    some really great discussion points raised here. Wonder how many copies of the app have been subscribed to?

    It’s interesting how the world of Apple Apps works. Most of the content in many of the apps is available free of charge yet there are App fans that prefer having their content and information delivered via an App rather than visiting a website.

    One of the core principles of sharing content via social media is delivering organised information to information consumers in a variety of methods. Some like video. Some like blogs. Some like podcasts. As a content producer you produce content for your audience. So if you do videos you don’t really care about trying to reach the people who prefer text blogs. Yes you miss out on thousands more consumers but that’s your decision and it’s quite ok.

    Apps are a little bit like that. Those that produce them don’t really care about the people who go visit the website for their information because there are people who prefer apps and that’s who they build the app for. They’re focusing on reaching a specific market.

    “Never teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the hell out of the pig” or in other words, Apple produce products and services for people who like Apple, do they need to worry about the rest?

    Great work Rochelle!

    AJ~

  • Anthony

    Disappointed that you can’t seem to be able to access the blogs or share the articles on Twitter.

  • Anthony

    Disappointed that you can’t seem to be able to access the blogs or share the articles on Twitter.

  • Matt

    Hi Rochelle,

    Very interested to read your review and the comments of your readers.

    To address a few of the questions raised, we understand that some people don’t like the ads, but we’re at the beginning of a very long journey and it’s fair to say that the execution and styling of the ads in our app will improve dramatically over time. HTML 5 offers some really interesting opportunities for advertisers and I hope we’ll soon reach the point where ad offerings can be customised to indivdual readers and offer great interactivity.

    On the question of the web site offering the same content free, we’re keenly aware of this, and have made great efforts to create iPad exclusive content for every edition. Already we’ve produced several videos, picture galleries and analysis that is iPad only.

    As we re-iterate the app, we’ll be offering comment functionality, blogging (which gives preferential access to subscribers) and rich media to create experiences that will not be available on the free website. We’re also currently offering all the content from our sections such as Switched On, Hit, Your Money, Sunday Magazine and more that doesn’t appear on the web.

    We’re proud of the first iteration of the app, but recognise that it represents just the first step on what will be a long journey of improvements and enhancements. We’re also monitoring feedback closely and will reponds to reader concerns where we can.

    Matt Pinkney
    HWT Digital Editor

  • Matt

    Hi Rochelle,

    Very interested to read your review and the comments of your readers.

    To address a few of the questions raised, we understand that some people don’t like the ads, but we’re at the beginning of a very long journey and it’s fair to say that the execution and styling of the ads in our app will improve dramatically over time. HTML 5 offers some really interesting opportunities for advertisers and I hope we’ll soon reach the point where ad offerings can be customised to indivdual readers and offer great interactivity.

    On the question of the web site offering the same content free, we’re keenly aware of this, and have made great efforts to create iPad exclusive content for every edition. Already we’ve produced several videos, picture galleries and analysis that is iPad only.

    As we re-iterate the app, we’ll be offering comment functionality, blogging (which gives preferential access to subscribers) and rich media to create experiences that will not be available on the free website. We’re also currently offering all the content from our sections such as Switched On, Hit, Your Money, Sunday Magazine and more that doesn’t appear on the web.

    We’re proud of the first iteration of the app, but recognise that it represents just the first step on what will be a long journey of improvements and enhancements. We’re also monitoring feedback closely and will reponds to reader concerns where we can.

    Matt Pinkney
    HWT Digital Editor

  • Les Wood

    I think people are missing the point.

    Yes you can get similar content from free on their site – but this won’t be for much longer. The paid part of this app is the first of the pay walls that will go up around this news product.

    And as for those that lament the inclusion of advertising you’ve got to be kidding! You pay more that this for a paper subscription and there are vastly more ads in that.

    It’s not the best news app out there – but it’s OK. Stay tuned for the pay wall to go up on HS website and holistic subscriptions based around paper, tablet/ mobile and PC.

  • Les Wood

    I think people are missing the point.

    Yes you can get similar content from free on their site – but this won’t be for much longer. The paid part of this app is the first of the pay walls that will go up around this news product.

    And as for those that lament the inclusion of advertising you’ve got to be kidding! You pay more that this for a paper subscription and there are vastly more ads in that.

    It’s not the best news app out there – but it’s OK. Stay tuned for the pay wall to go up on HS website and holistic subscriptions based around paper, tablet/ mobile and PC.

  • Niall

    Even iPads can go to the website. I still think there are many more ‘smartphone’ users out there though. Perhaps the Hun should be looking at a pay-site for ALL forms of mobile browsing.

  • Niall

    Even iPads can go to the website. I still think there are many more ‘smartphone’ users out there though. Perhaps the Hun should be looking at a pay-site for ALL forms of mobile browsing.