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#Tip: Mobile reporting pointers and app advice

December 9th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Mobile, Top tips for journalists

The Reynolds Journalism Institute’s Futures Lab has published a video and short post on the PBS MediaShift site, which is well worth a look if you’re a journalist keen to make the most out of your mobile phone. The post looks at key mobile apps to consider, as well as a focus on opportunities to produce short-form video, with advice from those leading the way in the industry.

Hat tip: @mediatwit has also previously compiled lists of useful mobile apps, for both Android and iPhone users.

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#Tip: Recommended Android photography apps

The Next Web has compiled a list of nine apps which Android-using journalists might like to take a look at to improve their work when capturing images, covering each stage of the photography process.

And if you are an iPhone user, not to worry, The Next Web has already covered photography apps for you too.

For anyone interested in capturing video on their phone, here is a feature which looks at some of the apps and techniques recommended for creating moving image with a mobile.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link.
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Magazine app developer praises Windows 8, abandons Android

Digital media developer Daniel Sharp has praised the next version of the Windows operating system for its ease of use when programming.

Writing for the Kernel, the Stonewash co-founder states the advantages of developing digital media products for Microsoft’s as-yet-unreleased operating system over Google’s Android OS:

I’ve just come from another testing meeting. Seven of us around a table looking at an Android app that’s in the mid-stages of development. We’ve found unique issues on each device, every device on the table was running a different version of Android, with different resolutions, capabilities and specifications. Getting this right is going to be time consuming…

Meanwhile, for the past seven weeks we’ve also been working on a super-secret project building magazine apps for the Windows 8 launch. In those seven weeks, we’ve managed to create a solid first version, that works across all resolutions, laptops, desktops and tablets, whether they use a touch screen, pen or mouse. Development was easy.

He continues:

The fact that you can develop native applications for Windows using HTML and JavaScript is huge: in our case, it meant that every single engineer in our company already knew how to develop for Windows.

If you’re looking at a smartphone application then Windows 8 isn’t for you; it’s not for smartphones. But if you’re looking at a tablet application, take a good hard look at Android and the figures. I took one look at them and I’m not convinced.

And that’s why I have paused all our Android development in favour of Windows 8.

Earlier this week the Financial Times revealed that it is working on an app for Windows 8, ahead of the autumn tablet release.

Stonewash develop frameworks for news and magazine publishers to create bespoke tablet applications. Their clients include lifestyle magazine Lusso, Investment & Pensions Europe and the Henley Standard newspaper.

Read the full article in the Kernel here

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App of the week for journalists: Social Searcher, for searching Facebook

App of the week: Social Searcher

Phones: Android

Cost: Free

What is it? Enables you to search Facebook without logging in

How is it of use to journalists? This Android app by Social Searcher allows you to search Facebook posts, groups and pages without logging in to Facebook.

The app allows you to open links from search results in your Android web browser, sort search results by date/time, sort search results by number of “likes” and filter by country.

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Eight lessons for publishers from comScore’s new report on mobile

October 13th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Mobile

Mobile devices account for nearly 7 per cent of web browsing in the US, according to a new report by comScore.

In the UK it has been predicted that mobile browsing will overtake desktop browsing in 2013.

Although the comScore study is based on US device use, it has lessons for UK publishers as they consider mobile-friendly websites, smartphone and tablet apps and the potential revenue from relatively new products such as iPad magazines.

Here are eight key facts for publishers from the latest comScore study on internet use on mobile devices:

1. Mobile devices account for 7 per cent of US web traffic

Around half of the US population uses the internet on a mobile device, which has increased by almost 20 per cent in the past year.

2. Two thirds of browsing on mobile devices takes place on phones; one third on tablets

Two thirds of the 6.8 per cent of mobile web traffic took place on phones during August; one third of that figure took place on tablets.

3. iPads account for nearly 98 per cent of US tablet market

iPads dominate among tablets in the US, accounting for 97.2 per cent of all web tablet traffic.

4. iPad web browsing has overtaken iPhone browsing

iPads have begun to overtake iPhones in being used for web browsing. iPad browsing accounts for 46.8 per cent of iOS internet use, 42.6 per cent takes place on iPhones.

5. People are increasingly using WiFi for mobile phone web browsing

The study found that more than one third of mobile phone web browsing took place via WiFi in August. Conversely, people are increasingly using tablets, which traditionally required a WiFi connection to access the internet, to connect via mobile broadband. In August, nearly 10 per cent of traffic from tablets occurred via a mobile network connection.

6. Nearly 60% of tablet owners use the devices to consume news

Three out of five tablet owners consume news on their tablets.

7. A quarter of those who read news on a tablet do so daily

One in four tablet users consume news on a tablet do so on a near-daily basis

8. iPhones and iPads dominate, nearly one third of mobile web users have an Android device and just 5 per cent use a BlackBerry

Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPad accounted for nearly 60 per cent of the mobile web browsing; Google Android just over 30 per cent, BlackBerry RIM just 5 per cent, and other platforms nearly 5 per cent.

In a release, Mark Donovan, senior vice president of mobile at comScore said the findings show an “explosion in digital media consumption”, labelling those in the use of connective devices as “digital omnivores”, consumers who access content through several touchpoints during the course of their daily digital lives.

He said:

In order to meet the needs of these consumers, advertisers and publishers must learn to navigate this new landscape so they develop cross-platform strategies to effectively engage their audiences.

There are 10 facts on the UK mobile market published in June here.

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App of the week for journalists – Flud, an RSS and news reader

App of the week: Flud

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

Cost: Free

What is it and how is it of use to journalists? Any journalist who uses RSS feeds to keep a track of news will know their worth. But if you’ve tried to use an RSS reader on your phone you will no doubt have found the small screen to be annoyingly limiting.

Flud is a good alternative, as it allows you to add RSS feeds from Google Reader and search for other feeds from news sites and blogs. You can organise your content by dragging feeds around and you are presented with stories in a visual, picture-led way. This is probably what earned it the title of Fast Company’s “Best UI of 2010″, as stated on iTunes.

After organising your feeds you can then bookmark and share stories by Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.


Reviews: It gets three stars in Apple’s App Store and 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’s app of the week for journalists.

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App of the week for Journalists: DropSync for Android – syncs with DropBox

August 10th, 2011 | 4 Comments | Posted by in App of the Week

Last week’s app of the week was Evernote, allowing you to share documents between devices. This week’s app is new service DropSync, which works with Dropbox, a hugely popular syncing and sharing service for files, photos and video used by more than 25 million people.

App of the week: DropSync

Operating systems: Android

But iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and web app users should take note of this wide range of apps that work with Dropbox, especially DropVox, an audio recorder for iPad and iPhone.

Cost: free / pro version is £3.47

What is it and how is it of use to journalists? DropSync is a newly released app that allows you to sync and update files in your Dropbox folder using your Android phone or tablet.

Dropbox is a cloud file storage system which can be installed on multiple computers or accessed via a web browser. It means you can work on files at home and at work without needing to transfer to a memory stick, Google Docs or email. A 2GB account is free. Group accounts are also available.

Reviews: DropSync gets 4.3 starts in the Android Market

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App of the week for journalists: Evernote – A must-have app ‘like having a second brain’

Evernote is already a favourite app of many journalists – indeed there are now 11 million Everenote users. If you haven’t yet downloaded it you should definitely give the note-taking platform a go.

App of the week: Evernote

Available for mobile: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, Android Tablet, Windows Phone 7,  BlackBerry, Palm Pre/Palm Pixi
For computers: Mac, Windows and web

Cost: free

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

Evernote allows you to save photos, audio files, web links and notes and share them across all your devices. It is like “having a second brain”, journalist Kim Townsend said when we discussing its advantages.

What does it allow you to do?

If you are at a press conference you can make notes, grab an audio quote, take a photo which can be later accessed from your computer.

What it is perhaps most useful for is keeping a note of ideas as you have them and storing related photos, web content and audio notes all in one place. You can tag your content so that it is easy to find.

Multiple people can feed into the same notebook, making collaboration easy, particularly for newsrooms.

Evernote has an open API allowing developers to create new apps. For example, there are various apps allowing you to turn your phone into a scanner enabling you to save further documents to Evernote.

Reviews: Evernote gets 4.5 stars in both the iTunes Store and the Android Market and 3 stars in the BlackBerry App World.

Accordng to Mashable, there are six finalists competing for a $100,000 prize in a competition for developers who have used the Evernote API to create new apps. The winner will be announced on 18 August.

The apps are:

  • Touchanote, for digital reminders;
  • Colorstache, for tagging by colour;
  • MyWorld, which combines Facebook and Evernote to allow you to remember and recommend places such as restaurants and bars which can be viewed in augmented reality;
  • Sniptastic, to allow you to save and share snippets of code;
  • Noteablemeals, to allow you to review restaurants, including photos and audio notes, share recommendations by email, to Twitter, Facebook, Delicious and other platforms;
  • Zendone, a really nifty productivity tool combing Evernote and Google Calendar. It allows you to make to do lists and schedule actions with attached web content, notes and photos.
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Economist launches app into Android Market

August 2nd, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Magazines, Mobile, Traffic

The Economist officially launches its app for Android phones and tablets today (2 August).

The app was released to the Android Market last week and, according to the market, has been downloaded between 10,000 and 50,000 times in one week and rated more than 230 times averaging 3.6 stars. A press spokesperson for the Economist was unable to confirm or release download figures.

The new app follows in the footsteps of the magazine’s iPhone and iPad apps, which have seen 2.4 million downloads since they were launched in November.

“We now have almost 700,000 unique devices accessing the apps each month,” Oscar Grut, managing director, digital editions said in a release.

Speaking in June, Tom Standage, digital editor, said around half of those accessing content were paying subscribers.

As with all digital content, Android users will be able to read some articles for free but will need to pay for a subscription to receive all content. A weekly subscription allows users to receive the magazine by post, plus read content via the app and paywalled website, which is available from 9pm on a Thursday evening (5pm New York time), 12 hours before it is delivered through a subscriber’s letter box.

A single issue can be bought via the app for £3.99. The magazine cover price is £4.

Once downloaded, issues are stored on the user’s device and can be read when not connected to the internet. Every issue also includes a full audio edition.

The Android app, which operates on all Android phones and small and medium tablets running OS 2.x, was built by TigerSpike, which built iPad apps for the Economist, the Telegraph and Time Out.

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Guardian launches Kindle edition and outlines new mobile plans

July 11th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Mobile, Multimedia

The Guardian has launched its Kindle edition of the Guardian and Observer, which is said to carry content from the day’s newspaper and will be available to download seven days a week in the UK, US and more than 100 other countries.

In a post outlining the launch the Guardian says the edition is available to download from Amazon for a 14-day free trial, after which it will be priced at £9.99 a month in the UK, or £0.99 per issue.

The post also outlines two launches on the horizon for iPad and Android.

We’ve been working on iPad over the past few months and we’re currently testing it with some of our readers. Our objective has been to produce the most accessible, elegant interpretation of the Guardian newspaper for iPad and we hope we’re close to achieving that aim.

According to the Guardian, which recently announced a digital-first strategy, the new app will see the newspaper redesigned “exclusively in tablet form”.

The app will deliver a single daily edition of content, specifically curated for iPad. Like Kindle, it will be a subscription product, though we will be releasing it with a free trial period from launch.

The Guardian’s first Android app is due to launch in autumn and a new product for the HP TouchPad called Guardian Zeitgeist is also in the pipeline.

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