I'm happy to report that The Huffington Post has updated their iPad app to version 3.0 today and has added a "Classic Edition" layout option to the app.
Back in December, The Huffington Post released version 2.0 of their iPad app. While in some ways it was an improvement over version 1.0. The developers went a little interactive-menu crazy and unveiled this new thing called newsglide. The intention of newsglide was to enhance navigation, but one also got the feeling that the company wanted to add eye-candy to their app just because it looked cool while using it. I wrote: "The old app had a very newspaper-like feel to it as far as navigation goes. The new app seems to be the love child that would result if the BBC for iPad and Twitter apps hooked up. Personally, I like my newspaper apps to have the layout of newspapers."
With today's version 3.0 release, newsglide is still there, but users can select between reading the app in newsglide view or classic view. Classic view is just that -- it retains the look and layout of a classic newspaper. In my opinion, that's all an iPad newspaper app has to do to be a good app. After all, a newspaper (even an Internet-only one) is meant to be read. It's not important for me to feel like I'm Tom Cruise in Minority Report while reading about the latest economic troubles. I want the text, the information, and all new apps should focus on providing that over any eye-candy interactivity.
Pamela Maffei McCarthy, The New Yorker's deputy editor, said it best when she told The New York Times shortly after it was announce that The New Yorker's iPad edition was outselling other iPad magazines that had more eye-candy interactivity. "That was really important to us: to create an app all about reading," she said. "There are some bells and whistles, but we're very careful about that. We think about whether or not they add any value. And if they don't, out the window they go." I'm glad The Huffington Post seems to now agree and hopefully other newspapers will too. The Huffington Post for iPad is a free download.