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Twitter starts to roll out new site for mobile browsers

Twitter has started to roll out a new version of Twitter.com for mobile devices. Most people who use Twitter on a smartphone opt for one of the official apps or a third-party app such as TweetDeck rather than the browser, but the the new mobile site promises to improve the experience for those without an app.

The new mobile browser is currently only available to a limited number of iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android smartphones, Twitter announced on its blog, but there will be a full roll out “in the coming weeks”.

Judging from the pictures released by Twitter, changes include the black navigation icon bar along the top.

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TweetDeck rebuilds its iPhone app

TweetDeck has redesigned rebuilt its iPhone app from scratch. Version 2 is available now and allows users to access feeds from Twitter and Facebook.

The new app has been designed by the team that developed the Android app, which has been nominated for a Webby Award.

YouTube is currently down, so the embedded video supposed to appear here is not displaying. We will put it back as soon as YouTube is back on its feet.

 

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New Media Age: Mail Online launches paid-for mobile app

November 1st, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick

Mail Online has become the latest UK newspaper site to launch an iPhone app. But the title is offering six-monthly or annual subscription packages, at £4.99 and £8.99 respectively, rather than a 30-day or monthly model.

Mail Online MD James Bromley said the title’s mobile strategy would hinge on developing paid apps as an additional revenue stream.

Full story on New Media Age at this link…

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Total Film launches iPhone app with social media and location-based services

September 1st, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Mobile, Multimedia, Social media and blogging

Total Film magazine has launched an iPhone app today, providing users with new location based and social media sharing services.

The app, which costs £1.79, features latest news, reviews and trailers from the magazine’s website alongside content exclusive to the app such as location-based cinema listings, show times and directions. The app will also allow users to share content via email, Facebook and Twitter.

The app launch follows a complete redesign of the print magazine earlier this year.

Nial Ferguson, publishing director for Future’s Entertainment and Tech Lifestyle portfolios, said: “Having listened closely to our readers, we have developed the most complete app available to UK movie fans, as we ensure Total Film appeals to committed enthusiasts, across all brand platforms.”

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paidContent: Hearst Magazines launches ‘App Lab’ in New York

August 20th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Mobile

Hearst Magazines is launching an “App Lab” at its New York offices, which, according to paidContent, will act as an an incubator space for the company’s marketers and ad agency workers before being opened up to customers to promote Hearst’s iPhone, iPad and tablet products.

The publisher offers 22 apps so far and has all of its magazines available as digital replicas through the e-edition service Zinio says the report.

Full post on paidContent.org at this link…

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Business Insider: NY Times app platform for publishers could charge $50,000

August 13th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Business, Editors' pick

According to Business Insider, the New York Times latest money-making venture Press Engine could be charging clients up to $50,000 for its services.

Press Engine was launched earlier this month and will charge a one-off licensing fee and monthly maintenance charge to clients, who will use the system to develop iPhone and iPad applications using technology and templates developed by the Times.

Full story on Business Insider at this link…

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CNET now has its very own iPhone app

CNET says it’s taking a break from talking about other news organisaton iPhone apps for a moment –  to celebrate the launch of its own.

The site blogged about the new app following its launch on the App Store on Tuesday.

The app makes it easy to hop to different topics of interest, just like you’d get on the full-size version of CNET News. To do so, you can just swipe your finger across the top of the screen and select the category you like, be it Webware, Crave, Microsoft, or CNET’s Green Tech blog.

See the full post here…

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weijiblog: What it takes to build a magazine iPhone app

June 30th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick, Mobile

Tom Hulme, a design director at IDEO who helped create and launch the CelebAround iPhone application, explains the process and planning that went into the app.

This is a great post, because it considers the process as a whole: from researching the app market to pricing models and Apple’s role in the proceedings.

I can’t help thinking that Apple will have to open up and that the store is going to be used more and more as free distribution.  In the future relatively few app’s will be paid for, and those that are will often use the emerging subscription model so that they can offer trials for free (lowering the barrier to adoption).  Media and gaming companies are already using apps as wrappers for their existing content and offering additional features – they will give away apps and then monetise the content subsequently.  Apps are likely to be portals in the future.

Full post on weijiblog at this link…

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Regional news apps: what have you seen?

June 14th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Local media

We’re a little late to this story about the Rotherham Advertiser’s new iPhone app for births, marriages and deaths, but thought it would be a good opportunity to call out for other examples of imaginative product development at regional level.

Online editors and journalists please share with us what you’ve got. How are you developing your mobile offering? Are the old sections and traditions translating well to mobile and online innovation? And regional site users, please tell us what you’ve seen. Or what ideas have you got for local publishers? Leave a comment below, or tweet @journalismnews.

The detail on the Advertiser’s app:

Get the latest Births, Marriages and Deaths from the Rotherham Advertiser direct from your iPhone! You can search all of the announcements from the last 2 months and keep them in your favourites. Once you’ve found someone you know you can leave a comment or upload photos straight from your phone camera. You can also share the announcement with your friends through e-mail, facebook and twitter.

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iPhone apps compared – how do news publishers shape up?

March 4th, 2010 | 3 Comments | Posted by in Magazines, Mobile, Newspapers

The news industry buzzword of the year so far is just three letters long: “app”. Newspapers, magazines and broadcasters are falling over themselves to grab a slice of the burgeoning mobile app economy, led to a huge degree by Apple’s iPhone.

But how developed is the news and publishing app market in the UK what features are now standard? To find out we examined 36 leading apps on the Apple App Store in detail. The apps are varied in style, origin and purpose, but all present information, news and data to the palm of readers’ hands.

Here’s the spreadsheet in full:

(You can download it here…)

And here are some key findings:

  • Price: 24 of the apps we researched – or two thirds – were free. Six require subscription charges.
  • Multimedia: seven apps have a dedicated photo channel, 13 have a video feed and six have a dedicated audio stream.  Some apps, like the broadcast-heavy ITN, feature much video without a specialist channel.
  • Social sharing: Email is by far the most popular story-sharing tool with a third of apps we looked at offering it. Next comes Twitter which features 15 times and Facebook with 12; 11 had no social sharing tools at all.

  • Search: Surprisingly, only 11 apps had a search feature and just two – Guardian and FT.com – used a system of tags for navigation.
  • Offline reading: Seven offered offline reading.
  • Ads: 17 apps offer display or pre-roll ads – half of those we looked at. The solitary app to offer classified advertising was Kent News, from KoS Media and PageSuite.

What does this show? That the gap between the desktop-based digital publishing world and the mobile web is still wide, despite huge leaps in functionality in the last six months. The Guardian’s app, developed in-house with back-end help from 2ergo, is a clear leader by offering a mixture of text, audio and pictures, offline reading/listening and an intuitive content tagging system.

But though that app is priced at £2.39 and has had more than 100,000 downloads and counting, it has no advertising and currently no video. As Guardian News & Media digital content director Emily Bell told me recently, the plan is to launch more apps in the near future, rather than look at more ways of monetising its flagship app.

Only 11 apps we looked at have a search function. But does that matter? Mobile, on-the-go readers checking football scores on their phones while on the bus don’t care what happened two months ago.

However, that is assuming that readers will come back every day – what if readers only care about news on Africa your app hasn’t published anything on it for last week? What will readers do? Go somewhere else.

It’s food for thought for a growing sector and don’t forget – this is all before the iPad touches down, which could set off an apps arms race of its own…

Patrick Smith is a freelance journalist and event organiser, and formerly a correspondent for paidContent:UK and Press Gazette. He blogs at psmithjournalist.com and is on Twitter.

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