Editor's Letter: The best-designed newspaper, coming to a screen near you

The hope is that our journalism will be read and enjoyed by more people than ever

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The Independent Online

Morning all. In his magisterial biography of Steve Jobs, the journalist Walter Isaacson makes the point that the founder of Apple owed his success at least as much to improving other people’s ideas as having his own.

Before Apple launched the Macintosh in 1984, there were personal computers which had a mouse. The Apple Mac was simply best in class. Before 2001 there were digital music players; but through its superb design and three-clicks-to-your-favourite-song technology the iPod became, again, the best of its kind. And though there were smartphones before 2007, none came close to matching the iPhone, which made mobile web use and apps both a business and cultural phenomenon.

The iPad was different. Whereas those earlier launches transformed one technology (personal computers, music players, and the telephone) each, the iPad would transform computing, music and telecoms in one revolutionary swipe. And, for that matter, journalism. No less a figure than Rupert Murdoch reportedly said some years ago that the iPad was, if not the future of newspapers, then certainly a future of newspapers.

We agree. This week we launched a new iPad app which both looks and is, well, best in class. There are two main aspects to it.

First, a free “digital newspaper” with elegantly designed and curated editions that are updated three times daily on weekdays, and twice daily at weekends. This part of the app is completely free.

Second, the print newspaper in tablet form. This includes all the supplements, of course, and is a thing of beauty. There is a free one-month trial with monthly or annual subscription packages. You can download the newspaper exactly as it looks in print, including our fantastic supplements, going back for the past month. (After the free trial, these pages costs £2.99 a week, £12.99 a month, or £159.99 a year.)

You can also download the app on the Kindle Fire, if that’s your tool of choice.

One of the things that I have tried to do since getting this job is make us the home for world-class photography, with bigger and better pictures than ever. It won’t take you long on the iPad app to see just how good some of that photography is.

The hope is that, with tablets, our journalism will be read and enjoyed by more people than ever. There’s a lovely line in George Orwell’s “Why I Write” where he says, “My initial concern is to get a hearing”. With the web, tablets, and smartphones, journalists can get much more of a hearing than we ever used to.

It is partly because of those big, new audiences that our Christmas appeal was such a success. You may have seen the thank-you notes in yesterday’s paper from Evgeny Lebedev, our owner, and Max Graham, the founder and CEO of Space for Giants, our partner charity. To raise over £500,000 for Africa’s elephants, which could be extinct in a decade or two, is hugely satisfying, and a credit to your immense generosity. The fight to save them has only just started, but what a boost this is. Have a great weekend.