The PiPress apps are straightforward, breaking coverage down into sections and topics and feature easy-to-use, unintrusive “share” buttons for Twitter, Facebook, email and text, as well as geo-located weather and events. There’s a relatively unobtrusive ad strip at the bottom.
The Pioneer Press doesn’t yet have an iPad app; oddly, the Star Tribune has an iPad app but no iPhone app. (Both papers have functional mobile websites.) The Strib’s iPad app, released in late September, isn’t all that sophisticated; it lets you read the e-edition replica of the print paper on your tablet. Important to note: Even though the app is free, you have to buy an e-subscription.
I’d expect a flurry of digital products next year from the Strib, which is planning a web site re-do in early 2011 (the Pioneer Press could really use one). I still like RSS readers such as Google Reader for catching news on the go, but any media company worth its salt will offer more ways for you to pick your favorite.