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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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Media release: BBC.com records 15m unique users across Europe in first quarter

May 22nd, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism, Traffic

In a press release issued yesterday the BBC announced the latest traffic statistics for BBC.com, which was said to have recorded 15 million unique users across Europe in the first quarter of the year.

Figures relating to accessing BBC news on mobile devices were also reported, with visits of “around 8.5 million users” across the world visiting the BBC News websites and apps on mobiles or tablets “in an average month”.

See the full release.

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Economist launches World in 2012 iPad app

November 24th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Magazines, Mobile

The Economist has today announced the release of an iPad version of “The World in 2012 from the Economist: Editor’s Highlights”, based on the annual magazine which features predictions, graphs and charts for the coming year.

In a release, the Economist said the app, which is sponsored by BMW, features “select articles from this year’s edition, videos from around the world and specially curated snapshots of people, events, landmarks and data are all included in the first-ever World in…highlights application.”

The featured articles focus on a variety of topics ranging from the areas of technology still up for grabs, the power of sharing and the change in China’s leadership.  The videos include an extract of an interview with Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, as well as interviews with people from New York, Beijing and London on the coming year.  The application also contains a feature on 12 people to watch in 2012, a month-by-month selection of events in 2012, a snapshot of 12 titbits to look out for in the year ahead and a collection of charts, graphs and data.

Daniel Franklin, editor of The World in 2012 said in the release:

This digital introduction makes it clear to new readers why the publication has become so popular over the past quarter century.

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#wef11: Ten lessons on news app creation from Mario Garcia

October 14th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Journalism, Mobile

Today’s session on tablet applications at the World Editors Forum featured a fantastic presentation by Mario Garcia, CEO and founder of Garcia Media, who ran through 10 incredibly useful lessons to learn when creating news apps.

They are repeated below as he listed them (and are also posted on his blog):

1. Tell stories across platforms. “We must think in terms of a media quartet”.
2. What the tablet is. “A tablet goes beyond, to create an immersive experience, not a newspaper, not an online edition, not television, yet has the abilty to fulfil the role of all these platforms together”.
3. The lean-back platform. “You have got an audience that’s relaxed, but not that relaxed. At any point they want to know what’s happening now”.
4. What the tablet is not. “It is not a replication of the print/online experience”
5. Covering three tracks. “Users want their newspaper tablet apps to have the three main tracks of curated edition, news updates and e-readers”.
6. The tablet and design. “You have to make it sophisticatedly simple”.
7. Create those pop-up moments. “This is not a newspaper. When you design for tablet you design for the eye, finger and the brain and all have to be entertained simultaneously.”
8. Pay attention to the essentials. “Start with a good sense of navigation, make sure the user knows how to go from point A to point C or Z and make sure you give people ability to share.”
9. Make it functional. “Remember what people are using it for. They come to read, they come to read long, they come to read short. Need to train people in art to write mini story.”
10. You must consider a curated edition. Have an editor to curate the edition.

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#Tip of the day from Journalism.co.uk – phone and tablet tricks for blogging from the field

September 2nd, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Mobile, Social media and blogging

The 10,000 Words blog has posted five top tricks for filing blog posts from the field using WordPress.com. The tips include WordPress’ mobile apps, adding hyperlinks, call-in audio posts and adding geolocation to posts.

Read them all here.

Tipster: Rachel McAthy

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at Journalism.co.uk email us using this link – we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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Beet.TV: Vook on working with ABC News to produce video books

In this video interview on Beet.TV Matthew Cavnar, head of product at Vook, a company which creates video books, talks about its collaboration with ABC News to produce a ‘vook’ which combines its text and video reporting of significant events.

Recent publications produced by Vook and ABC News, which Cavner claims offers the “360 degree experience of a news story”, includes the capture of Osama Bin Laden and the royal wedding in London.

Cavner added that while the company is looking at extending the platform out to partners, for now it is concentrating on its uses in-house.

Right now we’re really focused on going to a media company, going to a publisher, and saying we’ve got the platform … come work with us and create 50, 100, 1,000 titles because we’ve got the ability to do it.

… We think we’re basically cornering that market of scalable quality.

Related content:

OWNI.eu publishes Wikileaks ebook

How to: Make online video storytelling work

Media Trust calls on young citizen journalists for London scheme

 

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#mobilemedia11: A Storify of the event

June 14th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Mobile

TheMediaBriefing’s latest conference Mobile Media Strategies kicked off this morning. Our technology correspondent Sarah Marshall is reporting from the event on Journalism.co.uk and via Twitter @journalism_live.

You can also fill up on the day’s events so far with the Storify below which curates content from the morning panels and discussions.

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Beet.tv: BBC apps received more than 10 million downloads

June 3rd, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Broadcasting, Editors' pick

In this interview with Beet.tv digital director of BBC Worldwide Daniel Heaf talks about how the iPad has “truly become the fourth screen”.

He says that session time on the device matches the time spent with traditional media such as periodicals and television.

According to Heaf the BBC has had more than 10 million downloads worldwide of its apps for the iPad and other devices.

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News Corp nearing a decision on ‘tablet-centric’ unit

According to a report in the Financial Times, News Corporation is “nearing a decision” on plans to start a news organisation which could provide content specifically for tablet device applications.

The plans, which could still be dropped, would mean the creation of a “tablet-centric” subscription product, for devices such as the iPad, with dedicated content produced for that platform.

The ambitious undertaking under consideration would be another test of consumers’ appetite to pay for news. The momentum behind developing a tablet-centric product is driven by a belief that readers are willing to pay for portability. News Corp’s early progress in selling subscriptions on the iPad has inspired the company to consider the new business.

The report adds that if the project goes ahead, it would mean job opportunities for new staff who would have to produce new content on news, entertainment, sports and politics.

See the full report at this link… (note: registration required)

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MediaShift: How will an ‘iTunes for magazines’ work?

January 8th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Magazines

MediaShift looks at how a digital store or an “iTunes for magazines” announced in December might work and make use of Apple’s much-anticipated Tablet touch-screen computer.

The digital magazine project will be led by Time Inc, Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith and News Corporation, but details of what it will offer and how it will work are scant.

This piece takes a look at what’s known about the project, how the business model might work and what it means for the print magazine industry.

Full story at this link…

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