The Daily Mail is not a newspaper that I ever read and I am not really a fan of its politics and views on certain subjects. The website for the Daily Mail is another thing entirely and it is one of my guilty pleasures. Who doesn't like to see which celebrities are looking fat on the beach or seeing some orange hued Z lister falling out of a nightclub?
The website is completely frivolous and that is exactly why I like it.
I actually read an article not long ago on an American blog which was commenting on the rise of the Mail Online site all over the world and how it had recently surpassed The New York Times to because the worlds most viewed daily newspaper site. It currently gets over 90 million unique visitors a month so obviously there are a lot of people like me who like a bit of frivolity in their lives.
I already have the Mail Online app on my android phone and use it almost every day so one of the first things that I did when I got my new iPad was to download the Mail Online app. The iPad app is different from the one for phones and from the website itself and has been built from the ground up especially for the iPad.
It is free to download and remains free for the first 90 days but then after they have hooked you with their mix of fun and frolics you have to pay to be able to keep accessing the app. The current price for a subscription is: £2.49 for a 30 day subscription, £6.99 for a 90 day subscription, £10.99 for a 183 day subscription and £19.99 for a whole year's subscription. I am still on my free 90 day trial period but I am using the app every day so for me personally £19.99 for a whole year seems like a bit of a bargain.
The thing that I like best about this app is that I don't need to have a WI-FI connection to be able to use it.
I do need a WI-FI connection to be able to download all the days stories and pictures to my iPad and this takes a couple of minutes but after it has synched to my iPad I am free to open and peruse all the articles, pictures and columns completely offline whenever the fancy takes me. Trust me when I say it makes train journeys much more enjoyable.
The app has a lot of content so you can choose which parts of the site you wish to synch to save time but I find that even synching the entire site only takes a couple of minutes over WI-FI but if you are never going to read a certain section you can choose to omit it from the app.
When you open the app the first thing you will notice is just how good it all looks. This isn't some throwaway app the developers have spent 5 minutes porting over to the iPad and you can really tell it has been built from the ground up. It all looks really clean and organized and it is so easy to find your way around and be able to get to whatever part of the site that you want.
It opens up on the UK news page but on the top left hand corner you can tap and it comes up with all the different sections you can look at such as UK and US celebrity, World news etc. A quick tap on these and you are transported to that section instantly. It is so smooth and there is no judder or any sort of lag with the app. You can move between stories on the different sections by either going back to the home screen and choosing which article to read or else you can just go to the next story by swiping your finger over the screen. This also works perfectly and I am still amazed by how smooth the pages turn.
One you have had your fill of pointless celebrity news the Mail Online app does have some more worthy stories and you can actually get all the important news and stories from around the world on it. As well as the news they also have sections on things like money, cars, travel and you can even read the magazine section which comes with the Mail on it.
These sections of the app are actually quite informative and I especially enjoy reading the travel section and looking at the pictures which look stunning on my iPads Retina display.
One of my favourite things about the app is that it also gives me the option of being able to read the comments on the stories. Now anyone who has visited the Mail Online will know that the most entertainment to be had on the site is from the comments section of the stories. The comments run the whole gauntlet from the sublime to the ridiculous and they never fail to raise a chuckle from me. The comments section is missing from the android version that I have on my phone and it is the thing I miss the most with that version of the app. Take the Samantha Brick story that first appeared on the Mail Online before going viral, the article wasn't nearly as funny and ridiculous without the spate of snarky readers' comments and I happily spent an hour with a cup of coffee going through them all. Honestly it was pure comedy gold.
For those of you who are addicted to social media you can also share your favourite articles through facebook or twitter without having to leave the app. You just need to tap the share button to upload to your facebook or twitter account. I have actually found myself doing this a couple of times when I have come across a particularly ridiculous article which I just had to share with my friends.
For £20 a year the Mail Online app is a must on my iPad and it is a price I am happy to pay. Yes I could just access the site from my browser but I like the fact that it is better laid out on my iPad and it has more of a feeling of reading a magazine and the amount of content is huge and takes ages to read so it offers a lot better value than most magazines do. Plus the content changes every day and there is a wide variety of content available. It isn't all just half naked celebs and talking animal stories and there should actually be something for everyone within the app.
Also I tend to access my iPads internet when I am out of the house through my phones 3G signal which is shaky at best and quite often I find myself without a connection so the fact that everything is stored on my iPad without the need for an internet connection is a big selling point for me.
The official Mail Online iPad app gets 5 stars from me. It is cheap, well designed, entertaining and the comments alone make it a worthwhile purchase.