Looking for fresh content from The Daily during the day? You'll have to hunt for it

[caption id="attachment_117902" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Users who open The Daily several times a day frequently see this message."][/caption]

I have been reading The Daily regularly since it launched on Wednesday, and almost every time I open the app, I've been confused to see a message telling me that "a new issue" is being delivered.

The Daily is published every morning, but Editor Jesse Angelo also said that it wouldn't be “static” and would be updated as events warranted.

Yet each time I saw that message — four or five times on Thursday, for instance, each lasting up to a minute — I didn't notice any new stories since the last time I used the app.

So were these continual messages a bug? I reached out on Friday to Greg Clayman, publisher of The Daily, to find out.

He told me those notifications do in fact represent content updates and are part of the normal operation of the app.

For example, NASA held a news conference Friday to announce that Rep. Gabrielle Gifford’s husband, Astronaut Mark Kelly, would pilot the next space shuttle mission. When that story broke, Clayman said, The Daily’s staff added an item to a briefs page. People who opened the app after that saw the notification that a new issue was being downloaded, after which they could view the new content.

From a user's perspective, however, there is no way to tell what's new since the last time the app was used. Even after Clayman pointed out the NASA example, it still took me some effort to find the "new" news.

[caption id="attachment_118082" align="alignleft" width="214" caption="This brief was added to The Daily during the day on Friday, but users would've had a hard time knowing that."]The Daily[/caption]

Part of the issue, Clayman noted, may be the result of the team at The Daily settling into a publishing routine. “We are still figuring out what that right frequency and pace is” for updates, he said.

Rumors of "push" updates weren't accurate

Adding to my confusion were rumors before The Daily launched that it would feature a new “push subscription” service. This reportedly would allow updates to be delivered in the background so users instantly could see the latest news when they opened the app.

This feature was widely noted by many tech and media reporters, and I repeated it on Poynter.org several times. But nothing was said about such a feature during Wednesday’s announcement.

There is no such thing as a “push subscription,” Clayman told me.

“Apple does not have that as a product. We were never working with them on it,” he said. There was a lot of speculation leading up to the launch of The Daily, he said, and “some of it, people kind of got right,” but not in this case.

Critics focus on bugs, wait time

So far most criticism has focused on bugs and the length of time users have to wait for new content when they launch the app. John Gruber at Daring Fireball called it "The Daily Wait."

Clayman said The Daily was built entirely from the ground up, which means everything is new: the physical newsroom, the custom-built content management system, the staff and the app.

So despite in-house testing, a few bugs are not surprising. In an official statement on Sunday, The Daily assured readers that staff were listening to their feedback.

Clayman said they had already begun tracking down some of the issues, and users could “expect updates within weeks.”


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