Category Archives: Mobile

#Tip: Follow Sky News reporter in using Bambuser to livestream video

Here is an idea for all journalists: use Bambuser to broadcast a livestream video from your phone.

The app and mobile site allows you to stream video from no less than 360 mobile phone models.

Sky News North of England correspondent Nick Martin yesterday used his iPhone to livestream a report on queues at fuel stations.

It wasn’t broadcast live or aired later on Sky news on this occasion but enabled Martin to share live footage with his Twitter followers. A total of 45 watched it live, with current viewer stats standing at 443.

He told Journalism.co.uk:

We’ve been covering the fuel problems at forecourts across the country.

It was just a case of going past a forecourt and seeing pretty lengthy queues of 50 or 60 cars and not having a cameraman with me.

It’s a way of getting pictures in real time to Twitter followers or to a news desk.

The quality sometimes isn’t great but a way of people being able to plug into what you’re doing as a reporter.

Martin said he saw real value in the possibilities during a breaking news story, such as the riots, of the channel broadcasting the phone footage live.

Martin explained that Sky News has its own technology to allow reporters to sent high quality phone video footage to the newsdesk.

Hans Eriksson from Bambuser told Journalism.co.uk:

Bambuser has been used by several smaller local media outlets in the UK over the last year but this is the first time it’s been used this way by a nationwide media.

Bambuser is a previous app of the week for journalists.

Nick Martin spoke about his innovative uses of apps at last month’s news:rewired conference for journalists.

Here are Martin’s three pieces of advice for journalists considering using mobile phones for reporting. The liveblog of the session is at this link.

BBC News launches ‘responsive’ site as 26% of hits come from mobile

BBC News this week released a “responsive” site aimed at mobile which automatically scales to fit the device it is viewed on.

It can be viewed at m.bbc.co.uk/news.

More than a quarter of hits on BBC News come from mobile, including via apps and the mobile and desktop sites which are accessed via a browser, rather than desktop, according to a post on the Editors blog.

In an average week, for example, the BBC News site and apps are visited by about 9.7 million users on mobile and tablet devices worldwide, or about 26 per cent of total users to BBC News Online.

 

Writing on the blog, Steve Herrmann, editor of the BBC News website, states:

This new site is designed, for now, mainly for simpler phones, although you should be able to access it on any device. It will gradually evolve as new features and functionality are added in coming weeks, to the point where it becomes the default browser for smartphones as well.

Kate Milner, mobile product manager for BBC News writes on the Internet blog:

We’ve made it easier for you to skim through the news headlines and view the ‘most read’ articles. Features and analysis stories are also now showcased throughout the site.

We’re improving our coverage of live news stories for all mobile users. The live page format offers short form updates related to big stories as they unfold, for example on stories like the Budget and global news events.

She goes on to say “over the coming weeks and months we’ll be adding more features and functionality”, including video for those devices that can display it.

 

Guardian launches Streetstories, an app for King’s Cross

The Guardian has launched Streetstories, an iPhone and Android app, providing audio stories based on the phone’s location.

The app is another Guardian project focusing on social, local mobile and is launched the day after the public release of n0tice, another move by the news organisation into the SoLoMo space.

Launched ahead of the Guardian’s Open Weekend event this weekend, the Streetstories app provides a guide to King’s Cross,the area of London where King’s Place, the Guardian building where the event will take place, is located.

Francesca Panetta, the app’s creator, has blogged about it.

Streetstories is a free app for iPhone and Android which triggers audio relevant to your location – your smartphone knows where you are, and plays the stories automatically. The way the app works is you plug in your headphones, start up the ‘autoplay’ mode and put your smartphone in your pocket. The app will find where you are and start playing the clips, so you don’t need to press any buttons, just wander anywhere in the area and your route will create your own narrative

Guardian hyperlocal platform n0tice now open to all

The Guardian’s latest venture into hyperlocal publishing is now open to all with the “full open release” of n0tice.

Matt McAlister, director of digital strategy for the Guardian Media Group, presented the social, local, mobile offering at today’s Changing Media Summit.

The seed of the idea came out of a Guardian Hack Day project inspired by geolocation services.

McAlister explained the concept to Journalism.co.uk, which has tracked the progress of n0tice:

If the phone knows where you are and if I see something interesting around me, why can’t I report on that and be an active citizen journalist or participant?

The team evolved the idea into “a community service explicitly tied to a location, almost as a navigation or a filter for finding information”.

Since accepting members by invitation only, early users have been influencing its development.

The platform has opportunities for hyperlocal news sites, which can brand a noticeboard, tracking interaction using web analytics.

Some hyperlocals have adopted n0tice as “their events database, essentially submitting events directly onto notice but with their brand and look and feel”.

McAlister explained that it can increase engagement for hyperlocals.

WordPress is a wonderful publishing environment but it’s not as good as crowdsourcing reports. You can get someone to comment on something you’ve written but it’s not as good for letting anyone share anything original directly into a community space.

The platform also has wider opportunities for hyperlocals and other users: they can potentially make money by creating a noticeboard.

Based on a classifieds system with users paying for premium ads, noticeboard owners keep 85 per cent of the revenue generated.

Here Matt McAlister explains the project’s development:

New Sun app comes top in iTunes paid-for news chart

A new iPhone application from the Sun has become the most downloaded paid-for news app on the iTunes store this week – in its first week on the market.

The Sun app is currently sitting at number 10 in the overall league table of paid-for applications and is number one in the news category, with the Daily Mash in second.

Downloaders are being lured with an introductory price of 69p for the first month. The price of a monthly subscription rises to £4.99 after the first month.

The app automatically updates throughout the day with breaking news, and also includes live sports results, horoscopes, picture galleries and location-based weather updates.

It is the latest in a range of applications being launched by News International for its daily national titles. The Sun launched an Android application last month and the Times unveiled a web app earlier this week.

Media release: The Scotsman launches £7.99-a-month iPad app

The Scotsman is today launching a £7.99-a-month iPad app.

The app, which will be free for the first 30 days, is aimed “to appeal to regular readers, subscribers and scotsman.com users, and offers the opportunity to grow readership amongst iPad users, business travellers, sports fans, expat Scots and commuters”, according to a release.

The Johnston Press-owned title added in the release that this is “Scotland’s first dedicated multimedia news iPad app”.

John McLellan, Scotsman Publications’ editor-in-chief, said in a statement:

This is a major development which keeps the Scotsman up to speed with the latest media technology. Devices such as the iPad will play an increasingly dominant part in the way people access information and this is one of the most important steps forward in the Scotsman’s 200-year history.

It is a very different experience to reading online and having been at the forefront of that newspaper revolution over ten years ago it is fitting that we are in the midst of this one.

Scotsman Publications’ managing director Andrew Richardson, added:

The Scotsman app offers the best of both worlds, giving readers the choice of either leafing through the pages of The Scotsman newspaper or of reading the content in a digital format, with live news, video and enhanced use of photographs. Either choice provides a great new way to keep in touch and up-to-date

The app is sponsored by train company East Coast for the first four months.

Economist launches US election web app

The Economist has launched Electionism, an HTML5 web app for tablets, focusing on the US election.

Publishers will be interested to note the development of an app that works across a range of tablets, including the iPad, Galaxy Tab and Kindle Fire (yet to be released in the UK), and will also soon be available on the Blackberry PlayBook.

Rather than being downloaded from an app store, it is accessed by following a link in the tablet’s web browser.

Although designed for tablets, a simple version of the app works on mobile, presenting a Tumblr blog-style format (indeed, the app is “powered by Tumblr”).

This is the the Economist’s first foray into a web app that will work across several devices, unlike its range of apps native to Android and Apple’s iOS.

Electionism includes content from the Economist, CQ Roll Call and other noteworthy election reports from around the web.

Tom Standage, digital editor of the Economist, said in a release:

Electionism combines the Economist’s day-to-day opinion and commentary on the US elections, from our Webby-award-winning Democracy in America blog, with detailed on-the-ground coverage from CQ Roll Call and our picks of the best election coverage from elsewhere on the web, all wrapped up in a tablet-friendly format.

Nick Blunden, global managing director and publisher of the Economist online added:

It is extremely important to us that we provide our readers with not just commentary and analysis, but also the opportunity to discuss and debate the key issues. By building content sharing functionality through Facebook, Twitter and email into the Electionism app, we have provided readers with the ability to engage others in a conversation around the election.

Electionism was created by the Economist Group Media Lab, an internal product innovation group, and built in conjunction with its Toronto-based technology partner, Pressly.

  • Tom Standage, who is quoted in thus post, will be speaking at news:rewired, a conference for digital journalists organised by Journalism.co.uk. See the agenda, list of speakers and list of delegates. Tickets cost £130 +VAT and can be booked using the ticket page. More than 140 tickets have been sold. Book now to avoid disappointment.

Media release: Guardian’s iPad app hits half a million downloads

The Guardian iPad edition has been downloaded more than half a million times since it launched in October 2011, with 23,000 downloads on Christmas day alone.

The Guardian has not released figures for the number of editions downloaded.

From Friday 13 January iPad readers will be asked to pay £9.99 for a monthly subscription. Content has been free of charge for users in the first three months since launch, due to a sponsorship deal with Channel 4.

From tomorrow (Saturday 7 January) the app will include the Guardian’s Weekend magazine for the first time. The new weekly section, accessible from the app’s top navigation bar, will feature content from the Guardian’s award-winning magazine supplement, including columnists and recipes.

In a release, Merope Mills, editor of the Guardian Weekend magazine, said: “Weekend magazine’s stunning photography perfectly suits the form and the clean, modern design of our app on iPad. From tomorrow, readers will be able to enjoy a leisurely read of our award-winning longform journalism, flick through the galleries of ‘Your Pictures’ or watch our brilliant fashion and beauty correspondents Jess Cartner-Morley and Sali Hughes, as they guide readers through the latest lifestyle trends.”

The release also states that Guardian six- and seven-day print subscribers will continue to receive free access to the app after the three month period via their current subscription. Users who download the app after 13 January will receive a week’s free trial before signing up for the monthly subscription.

Future reports 6m app downloads in six weeks

Six million apps of magazines published by Future Publishing have been downloaded since the launch of Apple’s Newsstand six weeks ago.

In the first month since launch, the magazine publishing company, which has apps of 65 UK titles, made $1 million in the increased business, Mike Goldsmith, editor-in-chief of iPad and tablet editions at Future Publishing, told Journalism.co.uk in a podcast on how Apple’s Newsstand is revolutionising the publishing industry.

Newsstand, which launched on 12 October when Apple released iOS 5, is an iPhone and iPad home screen app that acts as a direct portal into a new magazine and news publication section of the iTunes App Store.

Future, like other publishing companies, has appealed to customers by offering free downloads of particular back issues, with iPhone and iPad users responding by downloading five million free editions.

Goldsmith said initial statistics are encouraging with 40 per cent of sales being made up of subscriptions rather than individual editions.

Other publishers are also reporting an increased impact. Daryl Rayner, managing director of Exact Editions, which works with publishers to create digital editions, reported “very pleasing results” with 15-30 per cent of subscriptions taken out on an annual basis rather than as 30-day subscriptions and renewals at 85-88 per cent.

Chris Talintyre, head of direct and digital marketing at Factory Media, which publishes 27 websites and 19 magazines, reported more than 850,000 downloads and initial sales data for October showing a month-on-month increase of 150 per cent since Newsstand’s launch.

Goldsmith said Newsstand is “absolutely intrinsic to the future of Future Publishing,” which yesterday reported a £19 million loss, largely because of a slump in print in the US.

Future said that its UK operations had been “resilient” overall, with revenues falling just 2 per cent.

US losses were “partially offset” by growth in digital revenues, which saw a 25 per cent hike.

Goldsmith illustrated how the iPad and Newsstand is changing the magazine market with the example of Comic Heroes, a special edition, bi-monthly magazine. On the physical news stand “it does okay”, he said, but “it’s a special edition and no one expects it to do marvellously”

But on Newsstand things are different.

It’s our second biggest page turning, flat app. It has gone through the roof because it is a brand that means different things to a different device. And that means we will invest in the title in terms of IP, in terms of staffing, in terms of marketing, in a way that we previously probably wouldn’t have invested in to that extent.

Is it going to revolutionise our business? It could do, it could well do.

I think the next 12 months are gong to be very, very interesting indeed.

Click here to hear more statistics and how Newsstand is revolutionising magazine publishing.