When it came to the toss a few years ago, and a budget only for one, I stayed with the FT and dispensed with the WSJ (I am a Brit, after all).
Today, though, Iâ€™m happily reading some of the news and op-eds on the WSJ on my iPhone.
Just try and do that from your computer to WSJ.com without a paid subscription and see how far you get.
The Journal launched a free app for the iPhone yesterday which you can get from the iTunes App Store.
As the screenshot indicates, nearly all screens carry a banner from Oracle which, when clicked, launches Safari and takes you to Oracleâ€™s website. So the WSJ iPhone service is ad supported, which makes sense if it gives you access to content that otherwise youâ€™d need a paid subscription for.
I have no problem with that. What I find irritating, though, is that when you get to the Oracle website, itâ€™s the view you get on a computer screen, not the small iPhone screen.
In other words, Oracleâ€™s website isnâ€™t optimized for use and interaction on the iPhone. Wtf? Come on guys, get with the programme! Itâ€™s not difficult to do. And especially as youâ€™re the sole advertiser right now on the iPhone version of WSJ.com.
Hereâ€™s a collection of screenshots I took and uploaded to Flickr; one of the Oracle website is in there as well.
Wired has a good take on what the Journalâ€™s thinking may be behind giving mobile access to its content for free:
[â€¦] By going mobile, and having advertisers instead of readers pay, the Journal stands to broaden its audience without necessarily jeopardizing the subscription model of the wsj.com. News Corp. CEP Rupert Murdoch flirted with the idea of dropping the online paywall while he was in the midst of acquiring Dow Jones, owner of the Journal, but seems to have dropped the idea, and apparently feels no threat by having the content available at no cost on smartphones.
Itâ€™s a great app, well designed and easy to use. I especially like the video and podcast-listening options.
Nice work, Wall Street Journal.