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Chronicle introduces iPad app

The two giants in the Bay Area newspaper business are taking different approaches to their iPad apps.

Last week, the Bay Area News Group came out with its “Bay Area News” app. It’s free and brings together the content of all the BANG papers, such as the Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and Oakland Tribune.

Today the Chronicle released an app that allows readers to read an edition of the paper that has been designed specifically for the iPad screen for $5.99 a month or $59.99 a year. For the month of June, the app is free.

The big difference is that the BANG app is free while the Chron intends to charge starting in July. Another difference is that the content of the BANG app is the same as the websites of BANG papers, while the Chron is redesigning its pages for the iPad and providing additional content.

In addition to stories from the print edition, the Chron iPad app will include breaking news, videos and traffic reports, the Chron said in its announcement this morning. In fact, the Chron said content will be pushed to the app before it is posted on SFGate. The Chron iPad edition will also include “interactive advertising” from GM, Chase, Verizon and Union Pacific.

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