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Fly Or Die: Can The Daily Make It?

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The big product launch this week was Rupert Murdoch’s new iPad publication, The Daily. On this episode of Fly or Die, CrunchGear editor John Biggs and I weigh in on its prospects for survival. We also discuss Clicker’s iPhone app and the Dell Streak 7 tablet, and we are joined by a surprise guest from one of the companies whose products we evaluate.

While The Daily not exactly the direction I would have taken, it’s paywall is easily circumvented, and it does take forever to load, it is very well packaged and a truly immersive experience. When I read it, I spend a considerable amount of time in the app flipping through pages to see what else is in store. And I’m a former magazine guy who’s given up on magazines, so that’s saying a lot. Biggs also finds it intriguing.

The Daily is light but informative, the way that you’d imagine Time or Newsweek should be on the iPad (it’s really more of a daily news magazine than a newspaper). There is some serious on-the street journalism from Egypt mixed with human interest stories and fluff, but there are always a few articles worth reading. The photos and videos make it a pleasurable visual experience. With $30 million already sunk into the project and an operating budget of $500,000 a week, you’d expect no less. It’s main weakness, other than the app being a bit slow and clunky, is that it seems to ignore the Web other than for sharing stories with other people. There are no links in the articles, and no social streams of curated news or realtime updates. It lacks the immediacy of a blog or Twitter, or even of a news website. We get into all this in the video.

Next we pick on Clicker, the guide for video on both TV and the Web. The app lets you look up shows, check-in to them, and see what your friends and other people are saying about them. I like the fact that it is agnostic about whether a show is on TV or on the Web, it just helps you find it, but I think it could do a better job on showing realtime Tweets about a show.

The Dell Streak, well, what can I say? It’s most redeeming feature is its Gorilla Glass screen. When I tried to smash it against the table, it didn’t even get a scratch. I hope you enjoy this episode. Tell us in comments what products you’d like us to review next week.

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