Need to know – The Daily iRag for iPad

News Corp's new iPaper for iPad pumps out its first edition. Here's what you need to know

Is it a taste of the future of news, or has Rupert Murdoch invested once again in a foolhardy approach to online journalism? As the fourth estate continues to find a comfy corner of the internet, here are the salient details on News Corp's new iPad news app, The Daily...

It’s a paper

But without any paper bits, obviously. And it has multimedia stuff – video, audio, picture galleries. So far, so boring. But it is promising up to 100 pages of news, features and other newspaper fodder every day. The opening carousel is a Cover Flow-esque page flipper which can read out the headlines for you, like having a mini Jon Snow inside your iPad.

It’s cheap

Murdoch claims The Daily will cost you just 14 cents a day (based on a dollar a week). You can get that down to 11 cents if you take up an annual sub. But that’s still US$40 a year you’ll be ponying up on news you could be getting elsewhere (almost anywhere on the internet, for example) for free.

It’s for Americans

For the 15 million of them with iPads by this time next year, that is. There’s no word on a European edition (or, better, a UK edition), but we’d imagine expansion is a given if our Stateside brothers decide it’s the future of their breakfast reading.

It wants to talk

The Daily’s all up for having you share stuff via Facebook, Twitter and email, presumably with your other mates who’ve forked out for a subscription*. It’ll even let you leave audio comments, as well as the usual sort. [*Actually, the editor says you’ll be able to read pages free online if you have a link, but you won’t be able to to to and see all the pages.]

It’s local

Despite being a national paper, you’ll be able to customise news to where you live. That’s already being seen in the sports pages, where you can promote news about your local teams.

It’s trying to start a trend

Obviously, but it does herald a new subscription system that Apple promises to roll out to other publishers afterwards. The Daily plans to roll out to other tablets, too, so if you’re saving up for a Motorola Xoom or LG G-Slate and want some News Corp action, you’re in luck. Though maybe not until next year. Or the one after.