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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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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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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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Analytics to help news sites understand the mobile audience

June 27th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Mobile, Traffic

News organisations can now have a better understanding of their audience by analysing stats on visitor numbers by mobile device, including iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android and BlackBerry, and see photos of handsets they are less familiar with.

Google Analytics has added a new mobile section to provide audience data by operating system, service provider, connection speed and browser type; sites can see which country, town or city their mobile readers are in, plus they can look up traffic sources, landing pages and other information familiar to Google Analytics users.

 

Mobile is becoming an increasingly important source of traffic for news sites, with mobile browsing expected to overtake desktop browsing by 2013. It is therefore essential that news sites understand their audience and test out their site on all devices.

Google Analytics users can see what proportion of total web visits mobile makes up by clicking on visitors > mobile. You will need to ensure you are using the latest version of Google Analytics.

There are further details of the updates on the Google Analytics blog.

Related content:

Economist reveals download numbers for iPhone and iPad apps

Guardian appoints first dedicated mobile editor

Nearly half of FT online subscribers access content via mobile

 

 

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#mobilemedia11: Ten facts on mobile media – phones and tablets

June 14th, 2011 | 4 Comments | Posted by in Mobile

Publishers are embracing mobile technology to find new ways to enter the ever-expanding market. Speaking at today’s Mobile Media Strategies event in London, Ronan de Renesse, senior analyst at Screen Digest, listed 10 facts on what mobile means for publishers.

1. The smartphone market is only 25 per cent of the mobile market in the UK.

2. The UK is Europe’s leading market for smartphones.

3. There are 18 million smartphones in the UK. By 2015 there will be 42.9 million.

4. In 2015 there will be more Android smartphones in Europe than the total number of smartphones on the continent today.

5. Apple has a 82.5 per cent market share of apps.

6. Android’s Market will take a increased market share

7. Games account for around 50 per cent of apps downloaded from Apple’s App Store.

8. Rich media, which includes content and data revenues, account for just 2 per cent of total revenue. “But it doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant. Rich media is very important for the future,” says de Renesse.

9. The introduction of tablets has affected the price of apps. The average price of a tablet app is almost double the price of a phone app therefore the average spend by the user is greater.

10. The future for publishers could lie in small, in app transactions.

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Google launches new translation app for iPhone

Google has launched a new language translation app for the iPhone, enabling it to compete with its Android version.

Both allow users to translate speech in 15 languages and words and phrases into more than 50 languages, as well as listening to translations spoken aloud in 23 languages.

According to Mashable, the iPhone app enables better text readability through a new zoom function, while the Android offers SMS translation and an enhanced conversation mode.

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WSJ.com: Google plans digital newsstand for Android users

Talks are underway at Google to launch a digital newsstand which will include apps from media companies available on devices running Android software, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

Google hopes to launch it in part to provide a more consistent experience for consumers who want to read periodicals on Android devices, and to help publishers collect payment for their apps, these people say.

Google has been in discussion about the potential venture with publishers including Condé Nast and Hearst Corporation, the report adds.

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Next Generation Journalist: Ignore the mobile app market at your peril


This series of 10 moneymaking tips for journalists began on Adam Westbrook’s blog, but continues exclusively on Journalism.co.uk from today. Adam’s e-book, Next Generation Journalist: 10 New Ways to Make Money in Journalism will be available to download in full on 20 May.

05. develop news apps for mobiles


By the end of last year more than 41 million smartphones had been sold worldwide. That’s 41 million potential customers if you can create the right product, which is why it’s one of the new career paths the Next Generation Journalist would be stupid to ignore.

The iPhone, iPad, Nexus, Blackberry and Android: there’s no doubt the mobile market is a massive one. And it’s one we’re already seeing many journalists step into. Larger organisations like CNN, the Guardian and NPR have all developed popular apps for users. We’re also seeing smaller startups move into this area too.

Apps don’t just have to deliver hard news, they can also provide useful public services such as crime data.

The business model might work like this: you take publicly available information like crime stats, authority information, traffic data etc., craft it into a useful and easy to use app and sell it. If it adds value to peoples’ lives, they’ll buy it, and that is the test your idea will have to pass.

Apps also benefit from a double sell: you can charge users a small amount for the app itself, and then if you’re providing fresh content within it, you can charge a subscription fee to use it too.

Developing apps for mobiles…

  • gives you experience in an area hardly any journalists are familiar with
  • can be satisfying to work on as a journalist if you create the right product
  • can potentially make a lot of money (it’s a huge market don’t forget)
  • once the product is created and on sale, it brings in money with zero effort (allowing you to pursue other work)

The key point I get across in the ebook is that you don’t need to know code to make an app. If you have the killer idea you can outsource the design and the coding parts to either specialist companies or talented individuals.

Click here to find out more.

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Telegraph relaunches mobile website

July 10th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Mobile

The Telegraph has relaunched its mobile website – the second redesign of the site almost a year after its last overhaul in August 2008, following its launch in July last year.

The revamped site now offers video content from Telegraph TV and site-wide mobile search, a press release said.

The redesign of the site, which was implemented by Bluestar Mobile – the firm behind the Independent’s mobile launch too, will also offer new ad formats including banner ads, Google Ad Sense and sponsorships.

“Mobile is an increasingly important platform for both our readers and advertisers – it is also an area which is going through major change. At TMG we are working to ensure that we remain at the forefront of innovation and offer our readers and advertisers the most compelling product available,” said Maani Safa, who was named head of mobile for Telegraph Media Group in February, in the release.

In October last year the title launched its Google Android app.

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