The Times’ iPad App

OK, so I thought it was strange at the time. The Guardian giving away ‘free content for life’ on the basis of a £2.39 download (iphone) app seemed too good to be true. The only way it could possibly make sense commercially is if it the app continually attracts new users and doesn’t take revenue away from the traditional model.

Following yesterday’s launch of the Times app (for the recently launched iPad) at £9.99 per month for a daily download, surely it’s now just a matter of time before the Guardian changes the model for charging on its app? Or kills it off altogether? Admittedly even as a one off, £10 for an app seems pretty steep when users such as myself are used to paying £0.59 – £2.99 for apps, but then the iPad app store is interesting for its differences to the iPhone app store. Whilst the latter clearly caters for a mass market, youth-oriented audience and the iPad is aimed at a different consumer, the difference is pretty stark, not only in terms of price – with the average price being far higher – but also the types of apps that proliferate targeting productivity use and children (presumably the children of the same people who use it for productivity the rest of the time – ie me).

So, I’ve spent more on apps in the last 48 hours, much, much more, than I have on the 100+ apps that I’ve downloaded for my iPhone over the last year – and can thoroughly recommend The Times, The Guardian Eyewitness, Wired and the Kindle e-reader app. Oh an the Toy Story app which offers an interactive book, colouring pad, karaoke etc – and the first one is free.

Typing currently presents something of a challenge. Even though the screen is far larger, I find it less easy to type on than it’s smaller counterpart – but perhaps that’s practice.

The one really notable aspect is that the speed of download is astonishing using the micro-Sim/3G. As someone that uses usb cards to connect to the web via laptop regularly (along with my phone, obviously), I’d assumed it would be similar connection speeds – but it’s really surprised me. On coming back to it last night, it downloaded the 49 remaining mails that I’d left in my inbox and not deleted from that day, in a matter of a few seconds.

So far, the battery’s holding up well too – it’s just lost about 50% since being charged the day before last.

Now, if only i could make all those fingerprints that currently cover the screen go away…