USA Today app gets Windows Phone 8 treatment as well

In case you’re a news junkie, you’ll want to take a look at version 1.9 of the official USA Today app for Windows Phone. The app just landed on the Store and it too is ready for Windows Phone 8. The bad news is Windows Phone 7 users are now left without an app.

USA Today have always had a pretty great Windows Phone experience and version 1.9 for Windows Phone 8 is no different. The app has seemingly been re-written and boy, is it fast as lightning.

The full change log includes some fairly nice features, though nothing too groundbreaking:

  • Design and performance enhancements for Windows Phone 8
  • Updated Live Tile support
  • Theme support for a dark or light interface
  • Weather city personalization
  • Fast App Switching
  • Various Bug Fixes

The app is exceptionally minimalist now and loads in about 1.5 seconds on a fresh start—that’s pretty amazing. Likewise, stories themselves have no “chrome”—just straight up, easy to read text and the main photo in HD. At the bottom you can find a simple Share button. The app also has its regular sections—sports, life, money, tech, travel and pinnable photo areas (sports, celebs, space, etc.). You also still get some local weather (provided by Accuweather), which is a nice touch.

There’s not too much else to say about USA Today: it’s super fast and clean, just how we like our apps. Sure, there’s no lockscreen support just yet or notifications for breaking news, but considering the lack of ads and the excellent overall design, we’re not complaining.

Of note is that the Windows Phone 7 version has gone missing now too. We’re not sure exactly why that happens but there’s a good chance that an update will bring it back. So best bet is don’t uninstall the previous version if you have it.

Windows Phone 8 users can go and download the app from the Store right here. Thanks, Bryan C., for the tip!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Holly S that's fast!
  • Saying the same thing. These guys got this app right. Clean, fast, and well put together.
  • If only they'd use the built in sharing.  I cant' stand apps that use the web based sharing.
  • Jesus , fast as hell no joke.
  • ➕10000
  • Man, windows phone is getting some really cool apps. Got to love it. Great app and well design...
  • Lakers loss again yeah...
  • Cant wait to try it
  • The app designs kill anything on ios and android. WP breaths so much life into the smartphone game. I've been staring at the lumia 920 and the 8x at my local att store, just drooling.
  • Less drooling, more buying! :)
  • Mass-props to USA Today for thier WP apps.
    Over the past couple of years, whenever I want to show someone what a Live Tile is, I've almost always used the USA Today app as an example.
  • CNN live tiles always works fine.
  • It is pretty awesome.
  • How are you getting the large icon in your start screen? I'm only getting 2 options. YCS
  • Open the app after you've updated it and then back out of it. It takes a second, but it should work after a minute or two.
  • Yeah I was too impatient. It works now. Thanks for the heads up. YCS
  • I actually deleted mine, then re downloaded it
  • This is an awesome application. The windows phone 8 version is so very much better than the 7.x series! Its incredibly blazing fast and the multitasking works awesome once the app has been recompiled (like this USA today app). Looking forward to many more releases from other software shops that are in this league!
  • Didn't think an already AAA app could be improved upon. Kudos!
  • Oh wow.. Ouch!!!
  • Can't get love tile to work - is it only through settings? No option for news?
  • My "live" tile is unconscious, too.
  • they have metro ui gods over at usa if they could just get good reporting.
  • First and only news app I use on windows phone. Love the update!
  • My roommate has android and his CNN and USA today app always show a breaking news notification like 15 mi minutes before mine and it piss me off . Anyone notice this to.......someone should perform some type of test to see how much of a delay does ms have when delivering updates and such.
  • Same with me for facebook in comparison to my old ass blackberry.  Really annoying.
  • live tiles don't work for me. tried reinstalling twice. rebooted phone. black lumia 920
  • Live tiles don't work for me, either.  I emailed them from within the app.  Maybe you can too so they don't think that I'm the only one. :)
  • How long did you wait after pinning the tile? With many apps you have to wait some time before the live tile gets going.
  • Holy crap... This app is now a staggeringly beautiful metro experience. I still don't like the new logo, but damn... Nice app!
  • Hi Daniel - sent an email to tips @ earlier re: Facebook bumped to 4.0 for WP8. Is that news or history already? :)
  • If you look up Facebook in the store you'll see it says it updated 11/17/2012 to version 4
  • haha thanks for that! Didn't realize it as it took a couple of days (after getting the Lumia 820) for the app to get updated :s
  • Love the app but not their live tile. the live tile splits the large tile in half showing the USA Today logo on one half and pics of news stories on the other half. wish it was like the large CNN live tile which gives me headlines.
  • USA Today has always been a trailblazer since they first released their app on WP7. They embraced Metro, and this new WP8 version is just stunning. I've always enjoyed the live tile of this app...all the little pics which entice you to click and see the headlines. Nice to finally see it in HD on WP8.
  • The small tile is not live. The medium and big ones are. I prefer small tiles on my 920, because even the medium ones seem too big. The medium would be nice on a lower res screen.
    So for those not seeing the live tile, you might be using the small one. Plus, as much as I've liked this app, they've never been good with their live tile preferences. In the old app, I could never get the weather flip to turn off. Now weather flip doesn't seem to work...which is ok with me. But I wish I hadn't upgraded due to the small tile issue.
  • Live tile work on 7.5 but now it don't work. My wp 8 works find while my friend lumia 900 don't work
  • The app crashes when trying to change to celsius in settings. Does it happens to you guys?
  • Great news app. I like it better than CNN. The writing seems better as well. It's not as dumbed down as cnn's writing has become. The live tile isn't too interesting. It only seems to do pictures not headlines.