My dad used to fantasise about the future; “we’ll sit on trains,” he said, “and we’ll read the paper on a really thin computer screen, we’ll be able to flick through the pages. That’s what I’m looking forward to.” Well, Dad, we finally did it. The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald have just launched apps for the iPad that make their websites look like their newspapers, kinda.

Now available in the app store, the subscriptions will set you back $8.99 a month (but are currently free thanks to a sponsorship from Telstra), and claims to boast a ‘specifically designed interface to make the most of the tablet format’. Opening the app, you’ll be greeted with a cover story (like a real newspaper) plus videos, visuals, and a very social media share–friendly layout.

Farifax’s CEO Greg Hywood reckons they’ve created something a bit special.

“The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age are two of the most respected and trusted media brands in Australia,” Hywoods says. “Their heritage has been built from a commitment to delivering the highest quality, credible journalism. These values coupled with a deep understanding of our audience has resulted in two apps that we believe set the benchmark globally for tablet news consumption.”

Fairfax have made sure advertising takes pride of place with the app, allowing advertisers to buy fully customisable, full screen ad units with multimedia and multi page opportunities; from standard creative with embedded URLs, to other more interactive formats.

“As new platforms and channels for our content emerge and as audience expectations change, we recognise that there are tremendous possibilities ahead of us to deliver unique journalism and experience those customers who pay," Hywood said.

Each edition will include core content sections for the Sydney Morning Herald or The Age plus an Editor’s Choice section, which includes a curation of the top stories of the day. Readers will be given the option to download magazines such as the Good Weekend and newspaper including Spectrum, News Review and Good Living amongst others.

The apps have been built in house at Fairfax Media by a dedicated team of developers.

“The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age tablet apps provide readers with another platform to access our content. Our job is to deliver quality journalism and in today’s media landscape, across multiple mediums and devices including; print, online, smartphone's and tablets. Today’s launch gives our readers another option to consider how they want to consume the news, ultimately the choice is in their hands,” said Jack Matthews, Chief Executive of Fairfax’s Metro Media division.

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