November 24, 2014 Last Updated 10:02 am

First look: Tribune Interactive’s new apps for the LA Times and Chicago Tribune

iOS apps get new, mobile news app looks, with the tablet version moving to a Flipboard-like box look when the reader uses their iPad in landscape

There seems to be two philosophies of digital publishing that, while contradictory, seem to be prevalent at the same time: one is that readers want replica editions of their print newspapers, and the other is that readers what native smartphone news apps. The consequences of this is that few newspapers (La Presse being a good example of an exception) are doing much innovative work for their tablet apps, while new, more attractive mobile news apps are being developed.


Old and new LA Times iPad app

Tribune Interactive has recently updated its apps for the Chicago Tribune, and just last week for the LA Times.

The universal apps continue the move towards the OnSwipe/Flipboard on tablets when read in landscape – a look that is so favored by app developers today. I am in a minority in thinking that placing stories into predefined boxes is a bad way to present the news, but you can’t stop rushing water. In portrait the app becomes basically a large iPhone app, presenting stories in one-after-the-other fashion like any other mobile news app.

LAT-iPad-update-articleThe argument for this style of news app is that younger readers will prefer a mobile news app, while older readers will want print. I see their point (assuming this is their point).

Recently the Tribune Company, now Tribune Publishing, updated the websites for their newspapers and I find them basically unusable on my iPad so there is certainly a need for these apps. But it seems that a good website should work on any device that apps shouldn’t be used as a substitute for poor website design.

But these are certainly good, new apps, and readers are giving the apps good reviews inside iTunes (and it is good not to argue too much with readers).

The Chicago Tribune lets readers who have bought the Digital All Access subscription for $9.99 per month access the app without additional charge, while also offering a News Apps Only subscription for $4.99 per month.

Both news apps remain outside the Apple Newsstand, something that seemed an odd choice a year or so ago, but now appears to have been a wise move.

Comments are closed.