Windows Phone 7’s app story continues to improve although it is still mising a lot of the big name apps like Skype (which I assume will be fixed soon now that Microsoft bought the firm), Dropbox and Evernote. One big name app we can now add to the “have” list is USA Today.
The app’s designer really took Microsoft’s Metro UI to heart. The “front page” scrolls horizontally to let you see headlines (with weather), sections list (News, Money, Sports, Life, Tech, Travel, Scores, Snapshots) and photos. Drilling down into module or news section maintains this horizontal scrolling user interface desgin. This reduces link clicking, render time and backward navigation. Lists like the headlines page also scroll vertically. This combination of traditional vertical scrolling and Metro’s horizontal paging gives the feel of a window into a much larger display.
USA Today video segments play as expected and look great on my HTC HD7’s display. All news items provide an option to share an article via Twitter, Facebook, Email or text message. You can see an example here where I sent a link to a USA Today article and video to my Posterous blog for later reading and viewing.
My only issue with the app is that USA Today’s weather information provider (AccuWeather.com) does not get my current location correctly and does not provide a setting to adjust it. You can, however, search for your ZIP code to get weather where you actually are located instead of where AccuWeather thinks you are (11 miles from my actual location in my case).