News Limited has bolstered its digital program with new iPad apps for its major metro newspapers.

Digital versions of The Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun will be launched this Friday, and will be available for $7.99 a month, with content updated throughout the day. The Courier-Mail and The Advertiser will also become available on the iPad soon.

The chairman and chief executive of News Limited, John Hartigan, said the apps marked the biggest advance, and opportunity, for newspapers in over a decade.

“The new apps will be much more than a static replica of the printed products, he said. They will play to the strengths of the iPad in allowing readers to navigate through our world class journalism, photography and video content. Content will be easily and intuitively accessed with arresting design and strong imagery.”

Hartigan said that the company had been overwhelmed by interest from advertisers for the new iPad apps.

“Strong, compelling advertising will be as fundamental to these apps as it has been to our newspapers and we are delighted to have already secured some strong commercial partnerships to support the launch of these apps.

Launch advertising partners include Harvey Norman, Telstra, National Australia Bank, Suncorp, Bank of Queensland, Melbourne Museum, Clarendon Homes and Village Cinemas Australia.

News Limited’s national paper The Australian was the first major newsprint title to launch a tablet application, offering a monthly subscription for iPad and Samsung Galaxy apps setting consumers back just $4.99.

But even that paltry price raised the ire or some purchasers of the app. The Australian app has an average buyer rating of just 2.5 out of 5, drawn from over 800 reviews.?

Some consumers have criticized a lack of iPad exclusive content that isn’t available online, slow content download, and intrusive advertising. Equally, other consumers have praised the app’s ease of use, and simple design.

Fairfax has made its monthly Sport and Style magazine a paid application, but have yet to offer The Age and Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Digital could not be reached for comment.