- Informative blog content
- Nice photo galleries
- Boring homepage
- Ads in a paid app
- Must be repurchased after 12 months
The Washington Post's new iPhone app (The Washington Post Co., $1.99), CNN Mobile, goes the paid route. We’ll take another look at this news app after they’ve worked out some of the kinks, but right now it doesn’t make our list of the best iPhone news apps.
The Washington Post app includes all the standard news sections, including Politics, Opinions, Sports, Local, and Lifestyle. The app also includes a good amount of blog content, including business and technology topics. Articles can be shared via email, Twitter, or Facebook. You can also save articles to the MyPost section to read later, which highlights these headlines in yellow.
I was impressed with the photo galleries, which are relatively comprehensive and easy to browse. The ‘day in photos’ gallery includes nearly 40 photos from various news stories, and you can quickly scroll between the photos. I also appreciated the ability to customize the main navigation bar with the sections you read most often.
However, the Washington Post app, as it is now, needs some work. The homepage is blah and boring, with very few thumbnails to illustrate the headlines. Only a handful of headlines are displayed under the Top Stories tab, and some of the navigation buttons are ridiculously small, including the "share" and "more" buttons.
I was also surprised to see that this paid app includes intrusive third-party ads, even though there’s no mention of ads in the app description and the screenshots on iTunes don’t show any advertisements. Like many iPhone users, I don’t like to see ads in a paid app. (CNN Mobile also includes advertisements, but it's clearly stated that it is ad-supported in the app's description.)
The Bottom Line
I had high hopes for the Washington Post iPhone app, but I was disappointed. We’ll revisit the app after they’ve had some time to work out the kinks, but for right now, the app is pretty underwhelming. Not only do you have to repurchase it once a year (making it more like an annual newspaper subscription than an app), but you’ll also have to contend with ads in this paid app (which should be clearly stated in its description). Right now, the Washington Post app doesn’t do enough to justify its price. Overall rating: 2.5 stars out of 5.