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July 9, 2015, 2:51 p.m.
Mobile & Apps
LINK: www.washingtonpost.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Shan Wang   |   July 9, 2015

Behold, a sleek, colorful new app The Washington Post released today for iPhone and iPad:

The Washington Post's news app for iPhone

(A keen observer might have noticed the launch coming a few days ago when the Post renamed its existing apps “The Washington Post Classic.”)

The app extends the visual language of the Post’s recent tablet apps, first for the Jeff Bezos-controlled Kindle Fire and, more recently, the web. On the iPhone, readers can scroll through stories — each with a large image and headline — that are displayed in a cardstack-like design. (The occasional ad from Lincoln Motor Company, which is sponsoring the launch of the app, is integrated into the deck.)

Here’s what the story “What the U.S. would be like without the South” looks like on the web, for instance:

Washington Post on the web, screenshot

And here it is on the iPhone app:

Washington Post app

A simple menu lets readers choose both traditional options (Sports, Business & Tech) and curated categories like Wild Card and Don’t Miss. On the iPad app, where readers can access additional content like comics, readers can flip through pages “magazine-style.”

The “classic” app will continue to be developed alongside the new app, according to Julia Beizer, the Post’s director of mobile products.

“The ‘Classic’ app has all of our content, classic user experiences, dedicated users. We’re continuing to build on these products as well,” Beizer said. “But as we develop something new, we wanted the opportunity to try out new experiences without disrupting our dedicated users.”

The new app is seeking to attract readers not previously in the Post’s regular audience, according to Cory Haik, executive editor and senior producer for digital, by emphasizing design and ease of use. (“Our goal was to attract people across the country who may not be The Post’s regular readers. And it is working.”) The press release emphasizes that it’s “aimed at national, international audiences” — interesting, given that the Post has tested a local vs. national split in its subscription model recently.

The app is built using Apple’s new programming language, Swift, which the Post promises will improves the app’s reliability.

For now, a few things are still missing; app users still can’t comment on a story from their phones, for instance, though the Post promises that’s coming. Also coming: paid access, once Lincoln’s initial launch sponsorship ends, at $9.99 a month.

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