Washington Post goes on iPad for free

Posted by Mark Raby

The Washington Post has become the latest newspaper to make its way to Apple's digital tablet platform, offering the entire content available in the daily paper for no cost at all. At least for now.

The Washington Post iPad app is available now from the App Store, and it brings with it more than just a digital version of the same stories you'll find in print. It also has embedded video content, connectivity with Facebook and Twitter, and a newpaper-y interface.

The bigger news about the iPad app is its price: free. In an effort to encourage people to try it out, the Washington Post is making the new digital paper available to everyone at no charge.

Other publications using the iPad as a new distribution method include The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today.

There is discrepancy among publications as to how to approach the iPad in terms of revenue streams. Some look to it as an advertising platform, offering the content for free but pushing out a lot of ads.

Then there was the Wall Street Journal's plan of actually charging people more money for the iPad version than the print version, because it was interactive and had all sorts of cool features.

For The Washington Post, it seems like it wants to test the waters first. Although it's free to the end-user, the publication will surely still be earning money from advertisers and if there are enough people clicking through the ads, it could remain a free service. If not, it could likely start charging a subscription fee, which it says it will begin doing in February.

So get your free Washington Post delivered while you can. The app is available as a free download for all iPad users running iOS 3.2 or above.