Nieman Lab outlines iPhone app development

Nieman Journalism Lab
After launching its journalism news iPhone app last week, Nieman Lab’s Joshua Benton describes the development process in a blog post today, saying, “If I can do it for a total cost of $624, there’s no reason more newspapers shouldn’t be on the platform.”

Benton spent $500 on the TapLynx app framework, $99 for an Apple developer’s license and $25 for icons used within the app. He does not estimate the cost of his personal efforts, but says the project took “a fair amount of my time, to be honest.”

Benton outlines a few of the reasons the app launched first — and perhaps only — on the iPhone. Of primary importance, he notes that the Nieman Lab staff consists of three people and the app development was undertaken as a personal project on his part. The use of the TapLynx framework, which is iOS-based, made the project possible.

But more importantly, Benton reports that mobile traffic to NiemanLab.org is predominantly from Apple devices:

“Here’s data from the past 30 days, as of August 24, 2010: 84 percent Apple (45 percent iPhone, 35 percent iPad, 4 percent iPod touch); 10 percent Android; 5 percent BlackBerry; 0.3 percent Symbian; 0.2 percent Windows Mobile.

If, as some predict, Android sweeps aside the iPhone and becomes the dominant platform on mobile, then maybe we’ll build one. But for now, we’re just putting our limited resources where we think they can have the most impact.”

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