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Since the iPad is a lightweight, handheld, touchscreen gadget measuring and having features between the dimensions of a modern Smartphone and a laptop computer, it has earned favor from computer users who find it fun to own and use (Pogue, 2010). Because it is a multimedia gadget currently owned by millions of people in the U.S and Europe, some major newspaper companies have in this reality the opportunity to capitalize on.
Thousands of news producers-including the USA Today, The New York Times, Financial Times, Reuters, and Newsweek have pioneered in developing apps compatible with the iPad (Brett, 2010), which indicates the iPad is the future for newspapers. When the researcher dug into the ranking of apps by publishers, it was evident that finance and technology niches commanded the market, with the Financial Times taking lead, followed by Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and Newsweek, in that order.
Most newspaper companies have realized that they need to offer readers a better news experience on the iPad than on the traditional medium-printed papers. The thesis found out that Reuters develops its news pro and galleries apps for the iPad, while bearing in mind the consumer demand for multimedia content. Accordingly, the thesis determined that Reuters develops iPad apps that are highly interactive and have video rendering capability, which is much different from the conventional ink and paper medium that has been in use for several decades.
The thesis found out that one of the reasons why people are increasingly preferring the Reuters iPad app to printed newspapers is that the app is free, has unlimited access and features video footages with up to date news headlines. It was also apparent that readers spent more time on the iPad news apps compared to news websites of the correspondent news publishers. For instance, the researcher determined that Reuters news readers spend up to three times the amount of time on the publisher's iPad app than on its website.
The researcher found another feature on the iPad that is unique to newspaper printing-access to surmountable information. This was particularly characteristic to the Wall Street Journal's iPad app, which gives the readers ubiquitous access to business and market information throughout the week. The researcher finds this to be among the areas favoring iPad news apps over print.
Though Wall Street Journal's iPad app is premium, it saves both time and money that readers would dedicate to finding up-to-date information from divergent databases. Just like the Reuters iPad app, the Wall Street Journal's iPad app boasts full-screen video in addition to personalized watch list (Gairy, 2011). Differently said, since users are getting used to media personalization, the researcher finds that the iPad is coming in handy for individualized news readership.
The Financial Times iPad app is taking a different direction altogether. It came to the knowledge of the researcher that The Financial Times iPad app was free at the beginning, but was commercialized as it started obtaining high readership. For print newspapers that are prominent in streets, homes and offices, The Financial Times is taking lead in iPad app market share. To bring about advanced experience while making the app look the same as what readers are used to in printed newspapers, The Financial Times maintains it design and layout (Biba, 2010). Given a choice to pick from the iPad app and printed newspaper, this thesis determined that most readers preferred the former because of its interactivity, up-to-date-ness, and mobility.
When publishing on the iPad app, newspaper companies easily integrate maps and social networking tools, which further enhance sharing of news articles. Social sharing of news articles and apps, this thesis found out, requires the sharer to be logged in or registered on the site onto which he or she intends to share (Proctor, 2010). With special applications, newspaper publishers can tract readership based on gender, age, education, profession, and geography, which are very crucial in creating and distributing content to distinct audiences that may be interested in specific content.
This thesis also found out an area in news production and distribution that the iPad deals with in a way that printed newspapers cannot-management of bulkiness. Instead of physically stacking hundreds or even thousands of newspaper copies with various stories, the iPad can store up to millions of newspaper pages without changing the shape or weight of the device.
For instance, The USA today iPad app features six news categories-general news, travel, technology, sports, lifestyle, and money, with a feature for saving all the stories for offline reading. From the way readers celebrated this feature and with the ease that newspaper companies develop such apps, this thesis determines that the iPad will be a savior for the newspaper industry.
Unless a reader goes through all the pages in any given newspaper, it is hard to link all related stories in an issues. This thesis found out that the iPad gives incomparable features that can be considered as transforming the newspaper industry-not only can a reader quickly find related stories within an issue, but also in other issues under the same title, different newspaper brands, and even the entire Internet. What is more, the researcher found that related content can take all forms of media, including pictures, maps, videos, audio, animations, court cases, and textual news.
Considering that the newspaper industry has been struggling lately to keep readers from entirely reading "free" news on the Internet, the iPad presents a chance for the industry to regain its readership by making the news contemporarily mobile, interactive, and comprehensive. From these findings, this thesis determines that the iPad will become a savior for the newspaper industry.