November 12, 2015 Last Updated 8:08 am

The Washington Post updates ‘Classic’ app for the iPad

Update concentrates on the print edition side of the iPad app, improving the storage and download functions, while still providing readers a native, digital reading experience rather than simply offering a hard-to-read PDF replica of the print paper

When The Washington Post launched its new news app for the Kindle Fire, shortly after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos acquired the newspaper, then released the same app for the Apple ecosystem, there was certainly doubts about the future of the Post’s other apps. Was it the intention of the paper to replace the older apps, or would they be maintained?

WaPo-front-iPadThat question was somewhat answered when the old apps were renamed in July, adding the word Classic, as in The Washington Post Classic for iPad.

The older iPad app has just received another update today, and this one contains a bit of a minor redesign. The update takes the app up to version 3.5.0.

The update leaves the web-like portion of the app alone and concentrates on changes in the print edition portion. Like the app from the Boston Globe, the Post’s app gives readers access to both web and print editions, though the Post’s effort is certainly cleaner and more native digital in look.

The Classic app has, before the update, been getting hammered by users who have been complaining about the app’s performance, and a failure to be able to access the print edition side of the app. This update should solve these issues (I certainly did not encounter any issues).

So, what’s new?

WaPo-Classic-new-iPadThe app actually tells you that when you access the print edition side of the app for the first time after installing the update.

The daily issues are broken out in sections which can be downloaded separately, allowing the reader to start on one section while others are being downloaded. A Cloud symbol on the upper right hand corner of the section shows that the section has not be fully (or even partially) downloaded.

Next, to save storage space –certainly important on the iPad since Apple continues to release new models with insufficient storage – the reader presses and holds the section, then will be prompted to see if they want to remove that section. Inside the app’s Settings the reader can uncheck sections they do not want downloaded to save time and storage space, as well.

A calendar icon has been added where readers can access archived issues simply by pressing the date on the calendar.

The changes are certainly not radical, but they do improve the app, which was quite good to begin with. After all, even the print edition side of the app doesn’t torture readers by representing a PDF replica of the paper.

But it is important to note that the very best apps, and the ones most used by iOS device owners, are updated regularly. Facebook, Twitter and a handful of other companies have gone to every other week update schedules. That might be over doing it a bit, but it does pretty much guarantee that any bugs get fixed promptly, and the app is improved regularly with new features as they are developed. These incremental changes are much appreciated by users, and lead to far better apps.

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