For any intricate app that received a Media Vanguard Award this year, there are dozens that were too complex to work well, use easily or generally deliver on their creators' intent. So it's a pleasure to honor USA Today's iPad app, which delivers the news effectively but seemingly effortlessly. Everything does what you'd expect when you swipe or tap it, making the app a great expression of USA Today's brand, which is all about giving you what you want without a lot of fuss.
The app's also been free since it arrived at the iPad's debut in April, easing its way to more than 950,000 downloads, according to USA Today. Executives had planned to start charging after an initial 90-day sponsorship by Marriott, but ad demand has proven strong enough that so far they're keeping the gates wide open.