I spent some time with The Daily last night, and here's my review:
The idea of it doesn't suck, but the execution sucks sucks sucks. The more I use it, the more it sucks.
The interface is just laggy enough to drive you a little nuts. One of the big strengths of iOS is responsiveness, and this app doesn't get that. The carousel navigation thing stutters and skips and goes past where you want it to go, some pages are just black for a few seconds with no indicator that anything is happening, and then you scroll right and you're on the weather, for some reason. There doesn't seem to be any way to get back to yesterday's issue without saving specific articles. There are AUDIO COMMENTS on articles, because what Internet comment threads were really missing all this time was the sound of trolls trolling.
And the content? REALLY SUCKS.
This is clearly a Rupert Murdoch vehicle. The voice is petulant snark, poorly written. The straight news pieces are dry as sawdust, and the editorial pieces are just intolerable.
For example, here's their review of Portlandia. I haven't seen this show, and from the clip and the preview, it looks like one fairly obvious joke told over and over again, but this review is mostly about liberals.
Armisen and Brownstein capture this familiar flavor of strident liberal logic perfectly, from its neurotic roots to its hints of hysteria.
I do think that the subscription model here will be important, and hopefully a far better publication will take advantage of it soon. Moving content subscriptions on devices like the iPad to the don't-think-about-it price points of iTunes music, video, and apps is smart, but The Daily is not.