It seems as if iPhone applications are the latest bright idea that newspapers and magazines have for generating revenue. It's an odd fact that people do seem willing to pay for stuff on mobile phones (and particularly on the iPhone), but not for a subscription to a website.
So I was interested to see that The Spectator has an iPhone app. They charge just 99 cents for the application, including a 7 day subscription, and you can extend the subscription for an extra 99 cents per week. Sounds like a good ide - or it would be if it wasn't such a hopelessly bad application.
Incredibly, all you get are screen images of each page, and of course they are unreadable if you display a full page. Yes, you can zoom in but then you can only see part of the page and it's incredibly awkward to read an article like that (scrolling down the first column, then down the second column).
Aha, you think, I'll turn my iPhone on its side. Well, yes you can, but now you get a "cover flow" type thing showing all the pages. Gee, thanks.
It's as if the person who designed this had never used an iPhone. At this point I gave up and decided I had wasted my money.
The Guardian is planning to release an iPhone app, and one has to assume that they'll do a better job than The Spectator.