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Under stress but seeing their work resonate, local news orgs are experimenting through the pandemic
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Nov. 12, 2019, 11:51 a.m.
Mobile & Apps

Along with a redesign, The Atlantic launched a revamped iOS app Tuesday.

The iOS-only app starts off with a “Today” screen, curated and written by humans, which users can scan for free. The newsletter-iness of that section is intentional, said Adrienne LaFrance, executive editor. The text in the Today screen changes according to the time of day; depending on when you’re reading, you’ll be greeted with “Good morning,” “Good afternoon,” “Good evening,” or “Still awake?”

That Today screen is free, but to click through to any of the articles or to read any of the app’s other content, users will have to pay. (The Atlantic’s website, in comparison, has a metered paywall; visitors can read five stories free per month before they have to pay.) Most of the users of The Atlantic’s app are subscribers anyway, said Andrew Phelps, senior director of product (and a Nieman Lab alum): “Our app audience is the most loyal and engaged of any surface where we reach people. Something like three out of four come to the app at least three times a week, and that was to an app that largely just looked like the homepage of The Atlantic. Until now, it hasn’t been terribly different.” But those who aren’t paying yet can subscribe to the app for either $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year.

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