We mentioned the official USA Today app a few days ago and really liked it's graphics--it's bright, eye catching and just plain nice to look at. Currently sitting with 4.5 stars in the Marketplace, it's also been getting rave reviews from regular users like yourself.
So it's nice to see that the developers speak on the process and what it was like making the app. As it turns out, USA Today didn't farm out app development but did it all in-house by USA Today.com TechLabs:
My group is particularly proud of this launch because the app was conceived, designed and developed entirely in-house. The designers and developers on this project spent a lot of time trying to get our app to feel just right with the unique but compelling Windows Phone "Metro" interface. We think we got there and, in the process, became quite enamored with the platform. Who knows, there may be more apps coming soon on this platform ;-). [Emphasis, ours]
The Windows Phone 7 development experience itself was an enjoyable one. Our Digital Development group has primarily been a C# ASP/.NET shop over the years. As we approached WP7, we were able to hit the ground running thanks to our familiarity of the Visual Studio development environment. The Silverlight for Windows Phone toolkit and the fast emulator that comes with it made it easy to get up and running with little Silverlight experience.
They also go on to praise the Siverlight community and overall seem really pleased both with the process and the outcome. Perhaps a lesson for other newspapers or companies? Oh and you can download said app right here.