NOTE: This post is part of our “The 10 Best iPad Applications for News” series. Do check back and view the latest reviews.
After developing a successful app for the iPhone, Reuters released the Reuters News Pro app and Reuteries Galleries app for the iPad, with a deliberate focus on video graphics and interactivity, such as interactive charting and financial data manipulation. Users can experience horizontal scrolling and split-screen reading, (which might not be a preference for many who like the fact that the iPad platform boasts a wide surface for visuals), and a caching mechanism that enables offline reading. The addition of the Reuters Galleries app for iPad is also to help showcase award-winning news photography and video, offering stunning visuals that maximise the potential of the iPad graphics and multimedia system. Reuters seem to have, more than others, concentrated particularly on developing an app that tries to take as much advantage of the iPad attributes. There is no cost, and, while featuring similar aspects as others news groups such as around-the-clock news headlines and video footage, Reuters app also offer detailed company profiles, including business descriptions, officer and director profiles and contact details. Within the first two weeks, downloads had already reached 75,000, and reports have surfaced announcing that users spend triple the amount of time on Reuters iPad app than the website. While numbers are impressive, it remains to be seen if the app, (as is true for all the other iPad news apps), really do have staying power or whether or not consumers will stick around after the glow of the shiny new gadget starts to fade…
1) Usefulness/Value to User
-While it does offer a substantial amount of news content for the reader, it is clear Reuters still places its emphasis on guiding their audience towards the website, which is much more comprehensive than the app, and they do so by offering an unmissable button reading, ‘Visit Reuters.com for more news’. Still, there’s much value in their pictures section, which, when you click on each one, gives a concise description accompanied with great visuals. Might add something more concrete to the concept of photojournalism via the iPad platform. 7/10
-Fairly easy to navigate, the Reuters app is certainly less text-heavy than other news apps, and does seem to maximise the iPad visual attributes and screen size better. The Top News Video and Business News Video features are also quite innovative and convenient both in placement, (nested underneath the regular Top News articles) and in length, (each video is just about 60 second-1 minute in length). 8/10
3) Price/Business Model
-Free to download and unlimited access, but the occasional ad does make an appearance around the edges at times. 7/10
4) Additional Functionality
-The Reuters app has quite a few toys to play around with. For those number-crunchers amongst us, the Markets and Stocks sections really marry user interactivity and financial data tinkering with incredible ease and, again, great visuals. There is also a currency converter feature which is an interesting addition. 8/10
A very strong offering from the technology-savvy team at Reuters. It is a must-have for news hawks.
NOTE: This post is part of our “The 10 Best iPad Applications for News”series. Do check back and view the latest reviews.