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It's the future of print and you know it. Media magnate Rupert Murdoch, the owner of News Corp., and Apple's iTunes chief Eddy Cue are here in New York, at the Guggenheim Museum to launch The Daily, an iPad-exclusive daily newspaper created by an army of professional journalists.
A lot has been rumored about this digital newspaper that is said to feature a low price point based on an alleged iTunes subscription model to support recurring charges. A number of blogs are at the spot covering at the event, including Engadget. We're providing you this remote live coverage, right here on BSN, so you don't have to reload dozens of windows in your browser.
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And here we go, Rupert Murdoch and Eddy Cue take the stage...
Murdoch credits Steve Jobs for making The Daily a reality: "I would like to thank Steve Jobs. He's given us this incredible new tablet and given us a new platform. Steve has been a champion of The Daily since day one, along with the brilliant Eddy Cue."
He immediately drops the bomb - The Daily will set you back just 14 cents a day, courtesy of the digital world where there are no costs associated with distribution, printing, etc.
They have been training for The Daily vigorously, doing live production for nearly two months to be sure the end product meets high expectations.
He invites John, Jesse, and Greg to unveil the first edition of The Daily.
The newspaper has a lot rich media, as expected, including image galleries, 360-degree panoramas and high-definition videos. Pros from television, newspapers and magazines teamed up with designers and developers to bring you The Daily.
They demonstrated the Egypt feature: "It's the kind of story that's made for the Daily - the pictures and video are amazing."
Storytelling is taken to new heights with a seamless blend of different media types and professional journalism. Content is being updated on a daily basis. More precisely, the editorial staff and contributors produce more than a hundred pages per day (you read that right).
Such a huge amount of content requires an optimized user interface for easy navigation. You will be able to navigate using a CoverFlow-like mode, flipping between page thumbnails left and right.
In a nod at the iPod shuffle fans, you can hit the shuffle button to get a random selection of the latest content you haven't read yet.
There's also the audio mode that reads aloud stories and a TV news anchor mode.
Built-in browser lets you explore links without living The Daily app. Pages can also containt embedded Twitter feeds so you can see up-to-date reactions from this popular microblogging service.
Of course, it wouldn't be an App Store app without App Store link that take you directly to the application page on the store. Should come in handy when reading an app review and tapping to instantly download the app. Yes, The Daily has a section specifically dedicated to iPhone apps, with reviews and ratings.
Some pages are interactive and can be tailored to your tastes, like sports pages that let you reorganize and customize listed teams and players.
The Daily amounts to just 99 cents a week - or four to five bucks a month - that's ultra cheap.
Apple's Eddie Cue takes the stage to explain the billing process. As the rumor mill predicted, Apple is introducing a new subscription-based billing model that supports recurring charges once you initially approve the transactions.
For The Daily, it'll mean you'll be billed weekly at 99 cents or yearly at $39.99. He praises the newspapers high production value and the fact that interactive content is automatically pushed to your iPad as soon as it gets published. He also mentions customization options that let you read what matters to you the most.
"You don't have to live in Wisconsin to get the Green Bay Packers as the home team in your paper," he explains. "Okay, now he's speaking our language."
Time for a Q&A session...
For now, you cannot access back issues because The Daily loads up daily content from the web, but you can save articles for later and the team is considering adding a local storage option so that the entire contents of the issue could reside on your device for offline use.
Apple will allow other publishers to take advantage of the new iTunes subscription billing model and will make related announcements "soon"
The Daily is an ambitious undertaking - Murdoch pegged total cost for the project at a whooping $30 million. Murdoch says the operation "will be running at a cost of half a million a week," but they're "very confident" that the investment will pay off.
The editorial can change the front page at any time and feed you breaking news through a variety of different notifications that include tickers, twitter feeds, drop in new pages and more. "This isn't a static product."
Even though The Daily will be eventually ported to other tablet platforms (hint: Honeycomb), Murdoch thinks "last year, this year, and next year" will belong to the iPad.
The Daily content won't be fully exposed on the web because the medium is unfitting for high interactivity. Apparently, Murdoch and the team were unwilling to compromises, "and the web demands that you make sacrifices." For example, the web can't replicate The Daily's smoothness and the pleasure of its native, touch-optimized user interface running natively on the iPad.
The inevitable Steve Jobs questions pops up when someone asks about Jobs' take on The Daily. Murdoch responds: "Steve called me last week and said that the app was really terrific, he was extremely flattering." Good, at least we know Steve's in good enough health to make phone calls and comment on new initiatives.
The Daily is hosted at thedaily.com but the site won't provide free access to the magazine content, that's exclusive to the iPad edition. The only way to see a story on the web is if someone emails you a link to the story from within The Daily for iPad app.
And here it goes, The Daily is now live on the App Store. It's a free download for your iPad, but you'll need to create a subscription if you want to access content. Check out the publication in action in the below video.