El País is a leading daily newspaper in Spain. It’s a serious, quality read with a tagline of ‘The global newspaper in Spanish’, which its broad range of coverage nicely lives up to. It’s got an iPad app, called simply El País.
Here’s a slice of its introduction and key features on its App Store page (my rough translation):
- All the latest up to the minute information: news, photos, videos
- Access to all sections: International, Spain, Finance/Economy, Technology, Science, Sports, Society, Health, Education, People & TV, Opinion, Viñetas, Culture, Movies, Music, Most Viewed and Most Shared
- The blogs of El Pais
- The latest news in Eskup (their social network area)
- Integration with Facebook, Twitter and email to share content
- Live radio with Cadena Ser and Los 40 Principales while you browse the app
My Spanish used to be fluent and I always enjoyed reading El País when I traveled frequently to Spain. I’m also always interested in looking at the iPad editions of quality publications – so I’ve had El País installed on my iPad for a while now. And of course I’ve got some thoughts on the app …
El País is currently a free app, and has been since it hit the iPad App Store back in November of last year. It has had at least a couple of big corporate sponsors these first few months and has also carried some unobtrusive banner ads at times since I’ve installed it (though I don’t see any in it lately).
The UI is serious looking and relatively easy to navigate. In landscape mode you have a left sidebar that offers the El País blogs, followed by Photos, Videos, and Vinetas sections. The middle column shows the main headlines of the moment and summary views of the articles (just tap to go to an individual story), and the right sidebar is home for the ‘Ultima Hora’ (Breaking News) area. Here’s a breaking football news story from a few nights ago:
In portrait view you get the first two columns and have to tap on a link in the bottom nav bar to see the Ultima Hora section.
In either view you can tap the blue Secciones button at the center of the bottom nav bar to call up a popover used to switch with one tap to any of the paper’s many sections.
— The content is very strong. Even with my rusty Spanish I find lots of good articles to enjoy each time I open the app. It feels like a big Sunday paper with all its sections, and has good coverage of a broad range of news from all around the world.
— The Sports section is a very good one – especially if you enjoy football (soccer) and like following La Liga.
— It’s also got quite a good Technology section.
— A nice touch: in individual stories in landscape mode you get thumbnail slider for other content along the bottom; in portrait mode the same slider is along righthand edge of the page.
— The Ultima Hora section is updated regularly and very often. This is a legitimate breaking news section.
— All the headlines and content are updated regularly as well. There is no need to ever download separate issues.
— It’s easy to share items via email, Twitter and Facebook, and to mark items as favorites.
— It loads quite slowly – even when launching it from the Multitasking Bar.
— The Blogs and photos and videos sections on the right sidebar might be nicer as popovers rather than full screens when you select them initially.
— You can’t search.
— It has little or no interactive elements. It would be nice to see this added to make it feel more like a true iPad edition.
El País is one of the better iPad edition newspaper titles I’ve seen. Good content, strong international coverage, a wealth of good sections to browse, and a simple interface. I think / hope an appropriate Spanish phrase for it is: muy bien hecho.
If it adds some interactive elements it will really be amongst the top iPad publications.
You can find El País for iPad in the App Store now, and it is currently a free app.