Traditional media outlets launch digital news iPad app readers - Technology - Gadgets and Gizmos

The Gray Lady and one of the news industry's most recognizable figures are looking to add a little color with the recent dual launches of iPad news reader apps that blend a traditional newspaper with social media.

News.me is the New York Times' latest venture in its efforts to keep up with the drastically expanding digital world that has significantly eaten away at both its circulation and reputation as the go-to source for news consumption.

Meanwhile, News Corporation, led by Rupert Murdoch, with help from Apple, recently debuted the Daily, an iPad-only newspaper aimed at giving readers a traditional experience with a technological product.

"The app's content is a blend of written reports, high-resolution images and video. You can cycle through a gallery of pictures embedded alongside articles with a swipe of a finger or a tap to see a full-screen version," CNN contributor Mark Milian wrote in a review of the Daily, which went on sale in the New York market on February 2.

News.me takes the experience a step further. The New York Times product sifts a user's social media profiles and accounts and presents them with relevant news. The reader is presented with news content based on who they follow on Twitter and what their fellow social media devotees are reading. The app reader is a joint project between the Times and betaworks, the company that is also responsible for bit.ly.

The two new offerings are very different, yet both are tasked with attaining the same goal - stem the flow of readers abandoning traditional news providers.

"But News.me is pushing the edge of what a social news stream looks like, which I am all for," Eric Schonfeld recently wrote for TechCrunch after using a trial version of the app.

Perhaps the biggest sticking point with traditional news outlets and online content is the issue of subscriptions. Neither the Daily nor News.me will be free apps - News Corp. must pay a team of more than 100 journalists, while the New York Times will be presenting content licensed to other outlets, making a free News.me impossible.

Experts are mixed as to whether these projects will catch hold with consumers, but these days traditional media outlets and organizations are doing all they can to remain at the forefront of the news industry.

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