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App of week for journalists: WordPress, now with easy comments moderation

May 31st, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in App of the Week

App of the week: WordPress

Devices: iPhone, iPad, Android

Cost: Free

What is it? WordPress for iOS has new features, including easy comments moderation, push notifications (for WordPress.com) and improved iPad performance.

How is it of use to journalists? Journalists and bloggers who use WordPress may have dismissed the thought of using it on a phone as it is far less fiddly to write a blog post and add pictures from a desktop.

However, version 3.0 of the iOS app, released last week, has a number of new features worth knowing about.

Perhaps the most useful of these is the ability to moderate comments with a simple swipe gesture.

  

A post introducing the new features describes the “swipe-to-moderate toolbar”.

Swipe over any comment in the comments list to bring up a moderation toolbar – no need to use bulk moderation or go to the comment permalink. It’s right there, and it’s fast. Another nifty change is the highlighting of new comments in the comments list when you’ve refreshed, it makes it easy to see what’s new.

If like this Journalism.co.uk editors’ blog, which runs on WordPress, you get a high volume of comments – most of them spam – this feature that allows you to easily moderate from your phone is a plus.

Bloggers using WordPress.com-hosted blogs have another new feature for comments: push notifications alerting you when a comment has been posted.

The updated version seems more stable on iPad, with 44 bugs and crashes fixed for this release.

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App of the week for journalists: TweetCaster, a Twitter app with souped-up search

App of the week: TweetCaster

Devices: Android, iPhone/iPad, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Bada

Cost: Free (or £2.99 to go ad free)

What is it? TweetCaster has several features not available in Twitter’s own app.

How is it of use to journalists? The Android version of TweetCaster was nominated for app of the week by Richard Kendall, web editor at PeterboroughToday.co.uk, who said:

I have found it faster than Twitter native app and smoother than Tweetdeck with plenty of options for sharing/managing found links and information.

TweetCaster has several functions you won’t find in Twitter’s own app, including a much more powerful search and filter that allows you to search your own timeline, all friends’ tweets or one person’s tweets.

You can also search for a keyword in nearby (geo-located) tweets, something that has obvious possibilities for journalists out on a breaking news story.

 

It also comes with Facebook integration, allows you to see who has re-tweeted a tweet and has a “zip it” function to allow you to mute a keyword, Twitter user or a trending hashtag.

Have you got a favourite app that you use as a journalist? Fill in this form to nominate an app for Journalism.co.uk’s app of the week for journalists.

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App of the week for journalists: Givit, for private video sharing

May 9th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in App of the Week, Broadcasting

App of the week: Givit

Devices: iPhone, iPad, Android

Cost: Free

What is it? An app for privately sharing video, including large files that cannot be sent by email

How is it of use to journalists? Givit allows you to record or upload a video and send an email to a contact who can then follow the link, watch and download it and comment on it.

You could use the app to record footage showing a news story and send it privately to the newsdesk.

 

Videos are stored to your Givit account so you can login and retrieve later.

You can also add footage from other cameras and devices by using the Givit desktop app.

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App of the week for journalists – TinyVox, for recording and sharing audio notes

App of the week: TinyVox

Operating systems: Apple (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) and Android

Cost: £0.69 / £1.27

What is it and how is it of use to journalists? TinyVox allows you to record audio, add text and share the mp3 recording via email, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and SoundCloud.

Designed to look like a dictaphone, the app is a handy way for journalists to record interviews or memos and add associated written notes.

It is worth clicking the settings button and making recordings “high quality”, if you want broadcast-quality audio.

Audio is also posted online to a unique URL (the app should not be used for confidential recordings), which includes additional sharing options and the ability to embed the player within a post.

Ratings: Apple has not yet received enough reviews to rate the app.

Have you got a favourite app that you use as a journalist? Fill in this form to nominate an app for Journalism.co.uk’s app of the week for journalists.

 

 

 

 


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App of the week for journalists – Glympse, for sharing your location

App of the week: Glympse

Operating systems: iPhone, Android, Windows, BlackBerry

Cost: Free

What is it and how is it of use to journalists? Glympse allows you to share your location privately by texting and emailing, or publicly on Facebook and Twitter.

It could be particularly handy if meeting a fellow journalist in a difficult environment, such as when covering a story like a protest or marathon, or more simply to send your whereabouts back to the newsdesk.

One advantage of this app over other location sharing options is that the person receiving your location can do so on a mobile phone or on a computer and the recipient does not need to have the app.

Glympse automatically records the time so the recipient can find out how long ago you were at that point and even track your movements.

The app has some handy features such as being able to add a message and specify your destination.

Reviews: It gets 2.5 stars in iTunes App Store, 4.5 stars in the Android Market and 2.5 stars in the BlackBerry App World.

Have you got a favourite app that you use as a journalist? Fill in this form to nominate an app for Journalism.co.uk’s app of the week for journalists.

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Guardian iPad app downloaded nearly 150,000 times in first week

October 21st, 2011 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Mobile, Traffic

The Guardian’s new iPad app has been downloaded 145,880 times since it was launched last Thursday (13 October), with more than a third of those from outside the UK.

The app is free for the first three months due to a sponsorship deal with Channel 4, after which it will cost £9.99 per month.

The Guardian also today revealed that just over a million Facebook users have installed the Guardian’s Facebook app, which was released exactly a month ago.

Since its launch at the beginning of the year, the Guardian’s iPhone app has been downloaded over half a million times; its Android app, which was launched last month, has been downloaded over a quarter of a million times.

Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of Guardian News & Media, said in a statement:

Since launching last week, the new Guardian iPad edition has already been downloaded over 145,000 times. This number of downloads in a week is a fantastic achievement, and shows the appetite among our readers to access our content in new, digital ways. This is our most successful app launch to date, and an important milestone as we continue to evolve into a digital-first news organisation.

Statistics breakdown

iPad app downloads
Total: 145,880
UK: 85,018
US: 29,082
Res of the wold: 31,780

Guardian iPhone app
Since launching in January this year, the app has been downloaded over 570,000 times, with nearly 100,000 users going on to take out subscriptions.

Guardian Android app
This launched last month, on 7 September, and since then the app – which is free and ad-funded – has been downloaded over 250,000 times.

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Paperboy app: Take a photo of newspaper article to find the digital edition

An app which uses image recognition technology to allow a reader to take a photo of a newspaper or magazine story on an iPhone or Android phone and use it to search for the digital article will be launched for UK titles next month.

Kooaba, the company behind the Paperboy app, has partnered with NewspaperDirect to enable print to digital linking for 2,000 titles worldwide. Around 50 UK titles are available digitally via NewspaperDirect and are therefore likely to be the publications available via the app. The full list includes the Daily Telegraph, Financial Times and Daily Mail, plus regional newspapers such as the Kentish Gazette, Birmingham Mail and Evening Standard.

In addition to taking a photo on a phone and using image recognition on the text to find the digital article, newspapers can also print a link which app users can snap to lead them to additional multimedia content, such as video.

The roll-out of the ability to find digital from print using the Paperboy app has started with this list of newspapers based in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and is planning add UK titles in November.

The Kooaba blog explains how the technology works.

Paperboy connects printed media to the digital world with one click: All the application’s powerful image recognition technology needs is a photo taken by a smartphone camera of an article or page in a newspaper or magazine. Paperboy then matches the photo to the images in Kooaba’s sizeable library of printed media or identifies that page or article from NewspaperDirect’s inventory of over 2,000 same-day, digital newspapers replicas. Users can then share, email or archive the electronic version on the go, anywhere, anytime or explore related information like videos, images or links to selected topics. Paperboy automatically finds URLs on pages of print publications. In some publications, exclusive Paperboy content is for pages with the Shutter icon.

This video gives examples of how readers could find it useful, such as taking a photo of a recipe to locate the digital version, which could then be saved to Evernote or shared via Twitter.

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BBC News Android app now lets users submit stories, videos and photos

October 5th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Mobile

The BBC News Android app has been updated to accept user-generated content and encourage people to send in their photographs and videos of a news event, something user of the BBC News iPhone app had already been able to do.

The Android app, which has been downloaded more than two million times globally since its launch in May, has also been updated to include the addition of homescreen widgets, improved personalisation and the ability to store the app on the SD card.

A BBC Internet Blog post details the changes.

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App of the week for journalists – Pro HDR, for better photos (without an iPhone 4S)

App of the week: Pro HDR

Operating systems: Apple (compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch, and iPad 2) and Android

Cost: £1.49 in the App Store, £1.24 in the Android Market

What is it and how is it of use to journalists? If you followed the unveiling of the iPhone 4S yesterday you will have learned that it has a better camera than current models, a feature that is no doubt of benefit to journalists.

This week’s app of the week is one for anyone who has struggled with the limitations of their current iPhone or Android camera, and taken a picture on their phone and found the result has either washed out sky or dark foreground.

Pro HDR works by taking two photos, each picture focusing on a different part of the the subject, and the app then blends the two together.

For example, the below photo, which was taken on an iPhone 4 using Pro HDR, is two pictures: one exposed for the sky, the other with the focus on the foreground.

 

Reviews: Pro HDR gets 4.5 stars in the Apps Store and3.5 stars in the Android Market.

Have you got a favourite app that you use as a journalist? Fill in this form to nominate an app for Journalism.co.uk’s app of the week for journalists.

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App of the week for journalists – Astrid Tasks, a task manager for Android

September 14th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in App of the Week

App of the week: Astrid Tasks

Operating systems: Android

Cost: Free

What is it and how is it of use to journalists?

According to @germanbureau, who recommends this app:

Astrid is a task manager app that allows you to set new tasks with due dates, reminders, notes, tags and four colour-coded levels of importance. It offers additional settings such as quiet hours (during which reminders are deactivated regardless of individual task settings), and the app can also be extended using various plug-ins.

Astrid provides an array of useful functions without going overboard. It is lightweight and intuitive in my experience, and it integrates well into the Google Calendar and related apps, such as the Pure Calendar widget, another one of my all-time favourites. Astrid runs exceedingly well on my old Cupcake 1.5 OS, and I’m told that it also works great on newer models; recent updates have also optimized the app for tab devices.

As a freelance journalist, Astrid allows me to keep track of my stories and deadlines by setting reminders for various tasks. In combination with Google Calendar, it is a highly useful tool for managing my day-to-day professional activities.

 

(Images taken from Android Marketplace)

Reviews: It gets 4.4 stars in the Android Marketplace

Recommended by: @germanbureau

Have you got a favourite app that you use as a journalist? Fill in this form to nominate an app for Journalism.co.uk’s app of the week for journalists.

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