USA Today has come a long way since it was launched in 1982 with the aim of becoming a national newspaper. Love it or hate it, “McPaper,” as it was once called by some detractors, USA Today’s app proves its still on top of the newspaper business.
There are a number of newspaper apps in the App Store, notably AP Mobile News and NYTimes. I keep all three on my iPhone because each has its unique advantages.
USA Today is organized in the same way as the real-world newspaper with its news, sports, money and life sections. It also has the familiar weather forecasts, captivating photos and info graphics, which visually present complex bits of information in a way that easy to understand.
Like the newspaper, USA Today is an easy read, thanks to its well-crafted interface. Unlike AP Mobile News and NYTimes, readers can participate in the USA Today’s Snapshot polls and filter the results by city and state. You can also share stories by email, text messaging or Twitter. The other two newspaper apps, lack a Twitter option.
USA Today is also location aware, which enables you to set weather forecasts wherever you happen to be in the United States.
The USA Today iPhone app features all the content you would expect of a major newspaper although not on the same level of customization that you’ll find in AP Mobile News and NYTimes. Both of those apps give you the option of selecting the news categories you read most often and putting an icon for them on the nav bar at the bottom of the screen.
All three apps load stories into the iPhone and iPod touch so you can read them later. USA Today and AP Mobile pulls down stories quickly and are a pleasure to use. The NYTimes app, on the other, tends to be slow, a problem the company has not been able to fix since the app was introduced.
If you’re an information junkie, USA Today is a must-have app.