Drudge iPhone app is a ripoff, in multiple ways

Jul 7, 2010
Tech

Matt Drudge has had his problems with iPhone and iPod Touch apps in the past — at one point calling for aggregator app iDrudge to be removed from the store back in September. Drudge resolved that issue, thereby allowing the app, now named Drudge Report Mobile, to remain for sale. Although DRM claims to be […]

Matt Drudge has had his problems with iPhone and iPod Touch apps in the past — at one point calling for aggregator app iDrudge to be removed from the store back in September. Drudge resolved that issue, thereby allowing the app, now named Drudge Report Mobile, to remain for sale.

Although DRM claims to be the only authorized Drudge Report app, DrudgeReport.com itself links to a different app, the free Official Drudge Report, as its go-to for iPhone users. ODR is copyrighted, and powered, by Drudge’s ad-free mobile site, iDrudgeReport.com and its archive at DrudgeReportArchives.com.

Roughly three weeks after the release of ODR, the 99-cent app Drudge entered the iTunes store.  The app features a long-loading splash page, followed by the “Headlines” page. When I first launched the app, “Headlines” only included a link and a photo. Selecting a story gave me the option for original version or optimized display, which had a faster load time. Although I appreciated the choice, it would be nice if users could select their choice as default, rather than choosing each time they try to read a story.

At the bottom of the app, I saw tabs for one, two and three, each of which contained more stories from DrudgeReport.com. Eventually, I realized that the “Headlines” tab pulls anything found in Drudge Report’s header—anything above its logo. The numbered tabs refer to Drudge’s columns from left to right. But how strange to call these by numbers, since there’s nothing of the sort on the site. Scrolling through the sections, it became clear when I hit the bottom of the content and saw the legalese that included “iDrudgeReport(.com/app).” App Drudge is simply pulling its content from the already created and app’d iDrudgeReport, which offers up links to column 1, column 2 and column 3 (so that’s where those strange numbers came from). The Official Drudge Report app displays all of the content in one scrollable column, which is less flashy, but makes much more sense.

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Let’s be honest — no Drudge Report reader is there for the site’s design aesthetic, and since all you’re getting with app Drudge is iDrudgeReport repackaged, I’d stick with the free, true-to-Drudge “official” app.

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