LITTLE ROCK — A new iPad application offers an exact replica of the daily Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper as well as breaking news updates, publisher Walter Hussman announced Tuesday.
The application is already available as a free download from the Apple Store, though Hussman said the launch is officially scheduled for Christmas Day.
The iPad version features the day's newspaper with "zoom and expand features for easy reading" and options for listening to the text, the newspaper said in a statement. Subscribers can access the entire paper for no additional charge.
Hussman said the responses from the initial users have been encouraging.
"People that have gotten it love it," he said after speaking to the newspaper's Little Rock staff Tuesday afternoon. "They say, 'This is terrific.'"
During the staff-wide meeting, Hussman clutched his iPad and said it's a better digital device than a laptop for reading the newspaper.
He said the app maintains the design of the daily paper because people are accustomed to it and understand how the layout of the pages reflect the importance of the stories. Coupling that with the constantly-updated breaking news content makes it "the best of both worlds," he said.
"I think this is the future," Hussman said, adding the device will bring in revenue through targeted advertising and ultimately save delivery and newsprint costs as subscribers switch to it from the printed edition.
An iPad application for the Northwest Edition is in the works and similar applications for both papers are expected to follow on other electronic readers, Hussman said.