U.S. News Weekly for the iPad is the new iPad edition, or ‘digital magazine’ from the editors of U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News & World Report is the latest long-established, blue-chip name in the world of print publications to launch an iPad title.
The good news for iPad-owning fans of U.S. News & World Report is that there is now an iPad edition and it’s only 99 cents for a month’s subscription. The bad news is that the quality of the iPad edition is nowhere near the quality of the print title.
Of course the content is good, but there is very little about this app that feels anything like a real iPad edition.
The app is free and on first opening it you can download and read one issue (the current issue) and then need to subscribe – at the very reasonable rate of 99 cents a month.
Here’s a slice of the App Store description for it:
It’s all served up in an easy-to-read format, plus you’ll find enhanced features such as videos and our interactive quiz.
Become a political insider by subscribing today. Each week, you’ll find:
–This Week in Washington: A timely, coherent look at the most important stories of the week. No clutter. No celebrities. Just the facts.
–Washington Whispers: Get the latest political buzz and hot gossip on everyone from presidents, congressmen, and cabinet secretaries to lobbyists, bureaucrats, and White House chefs.
–Editor-in-Chief Mort Zuckerman: Be the first to read Zuckerman’s unique commentary on the state of the nation, the economy, and foreign policy.
–The Presidency: Award-winning reporter Ken Walsh offers a contemporary and historical perspective on life inside the West Wing.
–Opinion: Our guest columnists–governors, senators, think tank experts, senior policymakers, and other newsmakers–argue their cases on hot-button issues.
–News You Can Use: Best Colleges, Best Hospitals, Best Mutual Funds, Best Cars for the Money—and much more!
And here’s why at the moment it’s a very poor iPad edition:
– Navigation within the app is clumsy and non-standard. You cannot swipe between articles, but instead have to tap buttons for previous and next story on the bottom right of article pages. If you tap to bring up ‘Contents’ you do not get the customary slider or thumbnails view, but just a static contents page with an article list with hyperlinks.
– There was just a single interactive element in the issue I looked at – the Quiz of the Week.
– There is also very little multimedia content – just a couple of videos within articles.
– There are no sharing options of any kind.
– There’s no search capability, and no ability to comment on an article or contact an article author.
– The app has almost no settings at all – the only exception being a poorly executed and clumsy font size adjustment button.
– It also offers no options at all for personalizing or customizing the app.
In short, it feels nothing like an iPad edition. It’s clear that the publishers have not looked at what other publications are doing with their iPad versions, and have put absolutely minimal effort into the design of their iPad app. It’s a shame because it’s a high quality title in its print edition.
Here’s an App Store link for U.S. News Weekly for the iPad; it’s a free app with a subscription option as mentioned above.