Washington Post releases iPad app for the political season; tablet app is a mix of free and paid content
The Washington Post, which often sees itself trailing the New York Times in both news coverage and app development, has one-upped their rival by launching a new iPad app dedicated to 2012 election coverage.
Post Politics is a free app that, for the most, part offers readers free access to the Post’s editorial coverage of the election season.
“Our goal for this app was to cut through the clutter of the campaign to bring it alive and provide everything you need to know in new and compelling ways,” writes Steven Ginsberg of the Post about the new app.
“We put a heavy focus on photos and video to bring all of the pomp and pageantry of a presidential campaign to your screen. Everyone wants to know where the candidates stand on the issues, but no one wants to read through a laundry list of stances. So we came up with an engaging experience that shows at a glance how the candidates differ from each other and whether they’ve switched positions. We also wanted to take some of the Post’s best features to a new level. Many of the fact checks, for example, include video of the comments in question. And just for a little fun, when a candidate starts fibbing, Pinocchio’s nose starts growing. Lastly, this is not an automated experience — Post editors will update the app throughout the day,” Ginsberg wrote.
The Post’s app almost three months after the NYT released its own political app, NYTimes Election 2012. But the NYT app is for the mobile devices only, while the Post’s app is obviously a tablet affair – and apparently for the iPad only at this point.
The advantages of one platform over the other are fairly obvious: where the NYT’s app is a great way to watch the election returns as they come in, the Post’s app is better for reading columns and news reports on the campaign season – one is for instant information, the other for leusure-time reading.
The majority of the content is free. But if you are really a campaign junkie, or maybe even a member of a campaign, you would want to sign up for the premium content, available for $2.99 a month.
The premium content is to be found in the section called Campaign Files. Archived stories can be found with a lock icon on them. Tapping them immediately brings up a subscription dialog box.
Neither this new app, nor the older The Washington Post for iPad app will be found inside Newsstand – though I suppose this one doesn’t really belong there.
Although somewhat late to the party, I don’t think it is too late to be releasing this app, especially since the Republican nomination is not wrapped up as of yet (two important primaries, Arizona and Michigan, are tomorrow).
We’ll see if any of the major newspapers have learned their lesson concerning timely launching of baseball apps as the first spring training games are only a couple days away (Hint, one paper already has). MLB’s updated apps are due on the 29th. (The Helena Brewers, I see, have a new iPhone app!)