Tag Archives: iPhone

iPhone 4 a ‘serviceable web video camera in breaking news situations’

Len De Groot, from the Knight Digital Media Center, has a useful first-hand account of using the iPhone 4 for reporting news.

Having taken his new iPhone out with him at lunch to put its tools to the test, he agreed it would prove a valuable tool for reporters.

Suddenly, the iPhone can be a serviceable web video camera in breaking news situations or unplanned interviews. It allows you to shoot and edit video, add lower thirds and titles and upload directly to the web.

It will not replace professionals and professional equipment, however. It fits into “the best camera is the one you have on you” category.

In his post he discusses his experiences of audio quality, uploading a full HD video to quicktime and then getting the clips onto youtube and vimeo as viewing platforms.

See the full post here…

Related reading on Journalism.co.uk: iPhone 4 developments herald a mobile future for news

weijiblog: What it takes to build a magazine iPhone app

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…

Regional news apps: what have you seen?

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.

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.

More details on Spectator’s iPad app

As reported by paid:Content in March, the Spectator has been developing a new magazine app for the iPad.

Its maker, Exact Editions, sent through an official announcement and a link to the iTunes store this week: it’s a ‘freemium’ app – free to download but with an option for full subscription to content.

“The app can be downloaded for free with some sample open access content and the opportunity to upgrade to the full version for a 30-day subscription at £2.39 through in-app purchasing. This gives subscribers full access to the latest issue of The Spectator and the previous four years of back issues.


“The app also features pageflow for browsing, full search and can be synced to an iPad, as well as to an iPhone and iPod Touch for offline reading.”

Exact Editions also launched the Spectator’s iPhone app in September 2009.

CNET: Media denied in Gizmodo iPhone investigation

A Californian judge has turned down a media request asking police to reveal the justification used to search the home of Gizmodo’s editor Jason Chen for information about the sale of a possible iPhone prototype to the technology site.

Gizmodo reportedly paid $5,000 for what may be a 4G iPhone found and sold to them by Brian Hogan, who says he found it after it was left in a German beer garden in Redwood City, Californian, reports CNET. On 23 April, after Apple contacted the police, Chen’s home was searched and kit including three Apple laptops, an iPad and a 16GB iPhone were seized, says Gizmodo.

The request was jointly filed by news organisations including CNET, the Associated Press, Bloomberg and the Los Angeles Times, but was denied on the grounds of security of the ongoing investigation.

Full story at this link…

CNET News: Journalist shield law may not prevent iPhone prototype investigation

Over in the US the iPhone prototype drama continues, as Gawker Media challenges the legality of the search warrant served on Gizmodo editor Jason Chen, last Friday. Gawker’s Gizmodo site had received an iPhone 4G protoype and revealed its features online. As CNet reported:

Police have seized computers and servers belonging to an editor of Gizmodo in an investigation that appears to stem from the gadget blog’s purchase of a lost Apple iPhone prototype.

Gawker claimed the search warrant was invalid under a part of California law. This part of the law, CNET reported, ” prevents judges from signing warrants that target writers for newspapers, magazines, or ‘other periodical publications.'”

But yesterday CNET reported that Gizmodo might not be protected by journalist shield law after all.

If Gizmodo editors are, in fact, a target of a criminal probe into the possession or purchase of stolen property, the search warrant served on editor Jason Chen on Friday appears valid. A blog post at NYTimes.com on Monday, citing unnamed law enforcement officials, said charges could be filed against the buyer of the prototype 4G phone – meaning Gizmodo.

Background to the Gizmodo scoop at this link. Promo video below:

AP photographer’s iPhone gallery from Afghanistan

Associated Press photographer David Guttenfelder has produced a stunning gallery of shots covering US military operations in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province using his iPhone and a Polaroid film filter app.

“I was trying to take pictures that would be similar to those rough, keepsake photos that marines might make for themselves,” explains Guttenfelder in an audio clip.

Full slideshow at this link…

TheBusinessDesk expands with iPhone app for regional business news

Regional business news network TheBusinessDesk.com has launched a free-to-download iPhone app.

The smartphone application will complement the network’s three websites, which cover the north west, Yorkshire and West Midlands. To use the app, readers will have to be registered on one of the three sites.

“Having built up more than 35,000 registered users across our sites, it is important that we continue to innovate and make it as easy as possible for our users to access up to the minute regional news whether in the office or out and about,” says Chris Barry, north west editor of TheBusinessDesk.com, in a story on the site (registration required).

Launches for Blackberry handsets and other mobile apps are planned.

iPhone apps compared – how do news publishers shape up?

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.