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Newsflash: AP needs a better app

AP News is a free, mediocre news-reading app for the iPad with a scrapbook-style interface and a surprisingly inefficient use of the iPad's screen space.

AP News is a free, mediocre news-reading app for the iPad with a scrapbook-style interface and a surprisingly inefficient use of the iPad's screen space.

Articles appear as headlines with small photo thumbnails on scraps of paper, scattered spaciously across a linen background. You swipe to flip through stories in a given category (such as politics, sports, or health), or you can swipe across a column in the middle of the screen to switch between categories.

The screen is topped by local weather (in oversize Comic Sans, inexplicably), a large AP logo, and two large panels for viewing photos and videos respectively. By tapping on either of these panels, you get somewhat larger thumbnails of photos or videos, again scattered spaciously--and, bafflingly, when you select a photo to view more closely, it doesn't blow up to full-screen size, only zooming in slightly and giving you buttons for sharing the photo.

The customization options and basic article-reading interface of AP News are decent enough, but given all the better options out there for news apps that organize and present news in a more efficient and engaging way (including content from the AP), it's hard to imagine why anyone would opt for this one.

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