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Editor column: Try our new Tribune iPad app and tell us what you think

Published September 1, 2013 9:04 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

OK, iPad fans, we've overhauled our app, and we want you to take it for a test drive.

The new model loads faster and delivers more content with simpler navigation. It's available free at Apple's App Store. If you do try it, give us some feedback.

iPads are part of the mobile migration. In some newspaper markets as much as half the readership comes on mobile devices, which include both tablets like iPads and smartphones. The Tribune has not hit that point, but it's the fastest growing segment.

In the case of tablets, the market is still led by Apple's iPad, now in its fourth year. A lot of people just find us at sltrib.com on their iPad web browser, but The Tribune also has had an iPad app since 2011, serving a smaller but loyal audience.

The first version performed well, but nothing stands still. The new version has been available in the App Store for a few weeks, and we're already seeing an uptick in use.

"Completely rewritten with performance in mind," says the person who wrote both versions, John Sloan, vice president of Digital Production at Utah Digital Services, The Tribune's web and app developer. "Obituaries, photo galleries and comments are all new in this version as well."

iPad users come with their own behavior patterns. We see app traffic climb in the evening as people come home and prop up their legs with the little screen on their laps.

This audience perhaps has a little more patience, more willingness to explore a polished longform article and a carefully edited photo gallery. We have people creating those every day, and the new app makes them simple to flip through.

Obituary readers should check the obits out on the new app. It's easy to scan them all or bring one to the front.

And the app now has reader comments. Not your thing? Don't worry. You have to click a button to see them.

We'll also be adding new features soon, including video embeds in stories for a fuller experience. And look for more "second screen" features like Twitter embeds for people who multi-task their sports and entertainment consumption.

In addition to general feedback, here are two questions for app users: Right now, we manage news on the iPad very similarly to the regular website. What we push to the top of the app's front page is generally the same as the top of the sltrib.com home page. Should that change? And if so, what kind of news should be emphasized or de-emphasized on the app?

You can send an email to the address below or answer in the comments on this column. Again, this is for iPad app users. If you want to be an app user, search the App Store for "Salt Lake Tribune."

Thanks for reading, wherever you are.

Tim Fitzpatrick is deputy editor. He can be reached at fitz@sltrib.com.