Friday, June 1, 2012

The Washington Post updates its free iPad news app, some users report crashing issues, though no such problems experienced at TNM

The Washington Post updated its free news app for the iPad last night, though some users are complaining that the update has added more bugs than it has fixed.
The Washington Post for iPad continues to be a free tablet app that is built off the newspaper's website and employs a web business model – free access and no paywall.

The latest update says that it adds a crash monitor and that it has fixed a data storage issue. But the early reviews seen inside the App Store complain about crashes since the update.

I updated my own copy of the app and can not verify any of these problems. The app performed fine after the update.

User complaints, such as seen here, are sometimes caused because an iPad is desperately in need of rebooting (many users fail to realize that their iPad needs this occasionally, just like their PC). Sometimes deleting the old app before updating can help, as well.

My biggest problem with the WaPo tablet app is that I don't like the business model being employed. In essence, the WaPo for iPad app is simply a reformatted website, and while I admit that I'm not a big fan of the website design either, it is not that much different here on the iPad so why bother? If the paper were especially good at selling digital advertising I suppose the strategy would have merit, but for the most part, the banner ad along the bottom of this app remains simply a black bar - devoid of a paid ad. (The only way I could get the app to bring in a new ad was to shut down the app and relaunch it. To me, this is a bigger bug than any crash complaints.)

To be fair, the app does say that the free access will be available for a limited time – though that limited time continues on and on.