iPad Apps February 4th

The Daily: Overall, it's probably the best iPad newspaper/magazine/multimedia experience/whatever to date. There's a staggering amount of high quality content in a variety of sections—News, Gossip, Opinion, Arts & Life, Apps & Games, and Sports—with sharp writing, beautiful photos, and well-produced video sprinkled throughout. In the sports section, in particular, the Daily really shines.

You can jump around between all of these piece to piece with the carousel view or simply swipe through panel by panel. It's a rich publication but accessibly so. And for 14 cents a day, or whatever a buck a week works out to, it's definitely a good value. Even if you don't cancel your real newspaper subscription. Free for 2 weeks. $1/week thereafter.

Atavist: A Giz App of the Day. The Atavist is a new publishing platform that tries to wed longform journalism and multimedia in a more sensible way. For the most part, your screen is filled with plain, unadorned text, which is a total relief, just like it is when you read something in Instapaper. But a rich multimedia experience is there, unobtrusively, waiting in the wings. Nice, full screen photographs are inserted between sections. Small arrows point to interactive elements in the text, words that are essentially links to relevant biographies, maps, timelines and the like. Tapping the screen pulls up a toolbar that lets you play an audio recording of the article while you read it, scan through thumbnails to any section of the piece, or, eventually, share snippets of the text itself over email, Facebook, or Twitter. You can engage with any or all of these multimedia offerings as frequently or as infrequently as is your preference. Free


Dead Space: A Giz App of the Day. Dead Space might be the best all-around iOS game I've played, but it's not perfect. The visuals are striking-tough perhaps not quite as impressive as, say, Infinity Blade. The aliens-take-over-the-space-station story isn't art, but it's plenty engaging. And the controls aren't perfectly precise, but they let you get wrapped up in the game. And that's exactly what's so great about Dead Space, how it wraps you up and scares the shit out of you like no other iOS before it. $10

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Xfinity TV: Premium cable...slowly moving with the times! Brian explains how you get to maximize your TV watching with the Xfinity TV iPad app:

The cable provider's Xfinity TV iPad app just got a 3,000 hour boost of on-demand shows and movies from HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, and more. Giddyup.

While the app itself is free, you'll need to be a premium subscriber to access all that premium content. It's open season, though, on the basic cable goods from the four networks-TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, and BBC America-that are bundled into the feature.


Works on Wi-Fi only, 3G may come later.

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The Daily app? Really?

Oh, well, I'll just copy what I wrote on Youtube:

I didn't like it much. The animation on the carousel is pretty choppy, the news pages themselves look like pages out of a PDF... They behave differently based on orientation (which isn't good imho).

[The app] has its qualities, though. The interface looks good in general (apart from what I stated above), you can share articles (a feature I believe is mandatory anyway) on major social networks...

One thing I didn't see: can you manipulate text? Copying and pasting portions of it somewhere else?