The Washington Post on iPad

A few days ago, The Washington Post released an iPad app that gives you access to all of the paper’s content. Like the New York Times app, it’s free for now (as long as you register), but while the NYT hasn’t come out and said exactly when it will start charging, the Washington Post free trial ends in early February.

It’s interesting to see how the Washington Post has approached doing a newspaper app. Instead of the NYT‘s pop-up window to access sections — the only way you can do so — and then page flips to browse through articles excerpts within those sections, the Post goes the scrolling route. Each section is laid out like the front page of a newspaper, and you scroll down to see the excerpts — tapping an article also brings you to scrollable text, instead of the NYT‘s pages. I particularly like how you just swipe to the side to go from section to section — it’s a much easier way to quickly move through them.

As with the NYT app, one of the star features is how it deals with multimedia content, and here it again does the NYT one better by combining all photos and videos on one page, all laid out to see (above) — there’s a lot of flipping involved in going through galleries and videos in the NYT app. It’s kinda funny how one of the iPad’s first great apps, The Guardian Eyewitness, now comes off as quite sad these days, with its measly one photo a day content update.

Another feature I like is that it has a “Read Later” button that lets you save articles for reading at a later time — unlike the NYT that keeps articles in sections for a couple of days (even a week sometimes), with the Washington Post you access that day’s paper.

Magazines Photography Technology

LIFE for iPad

If you’re a fan of The Guardian Eyewitness app or event the “Photo” section of the NYT app, then you’ll probably find a lot to like from the new LIFE app for iPad. Available as a free download, it’s basically an interface to LIFE magazine’s amazing photo archives.

There are a few different ways to explore the collections, starting from an “Explorer” page that lets you dig in geographically, and then a few themed sections.

It’s not perfect though, and the biggest annoyance is the ad for LIFE services (pictured above) that pops up every few photos — it’s especially annoying because when it comes it actually moves the regular interface elements away, which makes for a jarring transition. There’s also a slight load time for every single photo you view, so it seems that they should have paid a bit more attention at keeping file sizes manageable.

But hey, it’s a free app, and there’s more to like here than to not like, so well worth a download.