jPad: Initial Thoughts On Some News/Journalism iPad Apps

Part two in an ongoing series. Click here for part one.

Waiting for me on Thursday after I got home from work was my new iPad 2. I was quite excited – the (relatively long) wait was over and I could start exploring what all the hype over the revolutionary gadget was about!

And, let me say, so far, the device is more than lived up to its hype. Here are some of the relevant news/journalism apps I’ve downloaded to my iPad so far:

  • Flipboard: An app that turns your social feeds into a magazine-style experience. Also receives some content directly from partner sites such as ABC News and National Geographic.
  • Zite Personalized Magazine: Very similar to Flipboard, but also contains a strong recommendation engine (think StumbleUpon for news).

    NYTimes: Aims to replicate print edition.
  • NYTimes for iPad: A very accurate, interactive digital replica of the print version of the Times. The fonts are the same as in the print edition of the paper (something many other apps use as well).
  • The Washington Post for iPad: Like the Times, this app is designed to replicate print edition of the paper, with fonts and placement of stories. As a print edition Post subscriber, I can say this app does a great job. One notable difference is that many similar apps allow you to view articles broken up into columns – like the print edition – but the Post app does not yet have that functionality.
  • National Journal: A great app that acts as a hub for NJ’s family of government and politics-oriented subscription products. Articles are presented with authentic fonts, and can be viewed broken up into columns or as a straight block of text. Plenty of content on the app is free for everyone and not exclusive to subscribers. (Disclosure: I am a National Journal employee.)
  • POLITICO for iPad: This just-updated app is rich in photos and other multimedia and is very easy to use. It is unique in that its background is off-white, instead of the typical white.
  • Wired: As a Wired subscriber, I was entitled to free iPad access. And whoa, the content literally jumped off the page. Upon opening the app, I was greeted by a video version of the cover! The experience is similar to the print magazine, except for the videos and other interactives.
  • Wired: Content literally jumps off page.
  • SiteCatalyst: An app that I use for my day job to monitor traffic statistics. Omniture is an incredibly powerful and widely used Web analytics tool. If your company uses Omniture, I highly recommend that you download this app.

A number of handy features were common to many of these apps, including offline caching (my iPad is not a 3G model) and the use of push notifications for breaking news.

In future posts, I will go through some of the other apps I downloaded, more apps I have yet to explore and I will explore some of the above apps in more depth. Let me know what else I should download!

So far, my iPad has been a joy to use and explore. It encourages me to dig deeper and find stories that might not have crossed my radar. I look forward to sharing with you more experiences in posts to come.