The Daily Show iPhone app would fare better as a freebie

Dec 13, 2010
TV

If you didn’t snap up The Daily Show app for free on its release day, the $1.99 price tag is a bitter pill to swallow—especially once you see the app installed. The Capital One-supported app (yes, despite its pay-app status, there’s a banner ad on the home screen and splash page before each video) for […]

If you didn’t snap up The Daily Show app for free on its release day, the $1.99 price tag is a bitter pill to swallow—especially once you see the app installed.

The Capital One-supported app (yes, despite its pay-app status, there’s a banner ad on the home screen and splash page before each video) for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad offers up The Daily Show segments, but not full episodes. The available segments are full-length—the first I tried was more than nine minutes—rather than short joke clips. However, the lack of full shows will likely leave The Daily Show fans unappeased. Currently, complete episodes of the show are available for streaming via The Daily Show website (and viewable through the Skyfire app’s Flash function), so the omission of eps in the official app is disappointing.

The home screen offers a “quote of the day” and corresponding clip, as well as a random selection from the available archive. I found video playback to be acceptable over 3G, but I was surprised that the app was not optimized for the retina display. Users will also find a schedule of upcoming guests and a mostly worthless Daily Show-related Twitter aggregator.

Its limited features and lack of full episodes doesn’t mean that The Daily Show app is without merit, especially if the price reverted to free. The app’s most innovative function is its topics “search.” Instead of a traditional search function (which it wouldn’t hurt to add), the app displays a floating word cloud of search terms. Tap a word to see related video, or tap and drag words together to create more specific search queries. Initial loading of the cloud took awhile, but the keywords can also either be displayed in list format, or filtered to display only Daily Show correspondents or guests, for example.

If you’re considering The Daily Show app, hold out for a price drop—or at the very least, the removal of its ads.

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