Web apps

An exterior view of Google headquarters is seen in Mountain View, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 19, 2006. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

Google News mobile gets new look, adds access to desktop features like editor’s picks


Readers visiting Google News on smartphones will see some changes starting today thanks to a redesign that includes better navigation, enhanced customization and more features from the desktop site.

Increasingly people are reading News “on the go” and using their smartphones to keep abreast of the latest happenings around the globe. Over the next few days Google News readers on Android and iOS devices will start to see a beautiful new version of the mobile web app that will provide an improved overall experience resulting in a kind of real time news desk for you on your phone.

Users can view a dark or light theme, opt for larger, more detailed story cards, and access the weather and editor’s picks features popular on the desktop site. Read more


Does new Web app bring New York Times a step closer to abandoning native apps?

New York Times

The New York Times has officially released an HTML 5 Web app, previously in beta for iPad but now available on all browsers, called Today’s Paper.

The app includes all sections, articles and photos found in the print edition, as well as some select video. Users can access editions from the previous seven days. The app features swipe- and scroll-friendly navigation; optimized, responsive designs for both portrait and landscape modes; and offline reading for a seamless, efficient reading experience.

Putting aside free RSS feeds and the Kindle e-reader edition (which isn’t included in the Times’ All-Digital Access subscription), subscribers have a number of elegant ways to read Times content on tablets: Read more


NPR combines interactive, multimedia desks into one

In an effort to make its storytelling even more web-optimized, NPR is combining its interactive news applications desk and multimedia desk into a new “good Internet team.”

That’s not what it’ll officially be called, said Brian Boyer, the news apps editor who will oversee the as-yet-unnamed visuals desk. Each day, the team will aim to answer the question, “What’s the right way to tell this story online and visually?”

Sometimes, Boyer explained to Poynter via phone, that means a Tumblr blog like Dear Mr. President, or a gallery of animated gifs that needs to live outside the content management system, or a searchable database like Lobbying Missouri. The best storytelling solution isn’t always something produced by a programmer, but combines the news apps team’s web-savviness with the multimedia team’s visual acumen to streamline the workflow and produce a better product. Read more


With new tablet Web app, New York Times may avoid Apple’s fees

Nieman Lab | The Next Web | News release
The New York Times launches a new “experimental” Web app today for its subscribers with iPads.

So if you’re a Times subscriber you can now access its content on your iPad through the main NYTimes for iPad app, The Collection fashion and style app, the Flipboard app, plain old nytimes.com in the Safari browser, the experimental Skimmer Web app and now the new tablet Web app at App.NYTimes.com. Read more


Ad Age: ‘Digital dimes are turning into mobile pennies’

PEJ | Ad Age | IAB | Econsultancy
The Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism released the results of a significant study today on the state of mobile news consumption in America. Pew found that some people consume more news after acquiring tablets and that getting news is the second most popular activity on tablets behind emailing. It also sheds light on the difference between people who use apps vs. the Web to get their news.

Poynter’s Rick Edmonds looks at the business implications: While tablet ownership doubled to 22 percent in the past year, those tablet owners don’t want to pay for content and they aren’t crazy about advertising either. That leads Rick to conclude that “bundled subscriptions are looking better than ever.” Read more


Quartz takes the latest step in Web apps evolution

Atlantic Media’s new business news website, Quartz, launched today. I wrote earlier about the five things journalists should know about this new project.

The first of those five things was Quartz’s tablet-first focus, which we can now see in action.

Although the site is focused on reaching globetrotting business executives on their smartphones and tablets, you won’t find it in your favorite app store. Read more


‘I hated every moment of our experiment with apps,’ publisher says

Technology Review
Jason Pontin’s latest column is perhaps the most simultaneously complete and concise summary of publishers’ disappointment with mobile apps.

When Apple released the iPad in April 2010, the Technology Review publisher writes, “traditional publishers had been overtaken by a collective delusion. They believed that mobile computers with large, colorful screens, such as the iPad, iPhone, and similar devices using Google’s Android software, would allow them to unwind their unhappy histories with the Internet.”

But after setting foot in the new world of apps, Pontin writes, “like almost all publishers, I was badly disappointed. What went wrong? Everything.” (Read on for his blow-by-blow account.) Read more

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6 reasons to consider Onswipe for tablet-friendly websites

A new product launching today, Onswipe, helps news publishers easily set up a tablet-friendly version of their websites for iPad users and will help sell premium ads on those sites.

The Onswipe cover page peels back to reveal the table of contents.

You may have come across the Onswipe interface already if you’ve recently used an iPad to visit a WordPress blog. It creates an app-like experience on the Web, with lots of photo and video thumbnails, minimalist article presentation and touch-based interaction through dragging and swiping. Onswipe sites welcome users with a full-screen “cover” page, leading to a table of contents and the individual article pages.

Until now Onswipe has been available only as a WordPress plugin, but today it launches as a platform for any site, from personal blogs to national news. Read more


Financial Times launches Web app to avoid Apple’s fees and restrictions

All Things D
The Financial Times has launched a Web app that delivers content to tablets and mobile phones without going through Apple’s iTunes store. The advantage is that the FT keeps control of the subscriber data and avoids paying Apple a 30 percent share of subscriptions. All Things D calls it the “first major attempt” by a publisher to create an HTML5-based app, though as we’ve noted earlier, The New York Times, The Huffington Post and NPR have experimented with them. || EARLIER: Aside Magazine app runs on any tablet, shows what developers can do with HTML5


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Aside Magazine app runs on any tablet, shows what developers can do with HTML5

A pair of Berlin-based designers has released a prototype of what they call the world’s first HTML5 magazine for tablets.

The project, called Aside Magazine, is an impressive demonstration of the design, interactivity and app-like experience that can be created using new advances in the language that powers the Web: HTML.

The newest version, HTML5, goes far beyond pages, hyperlinks and images. It includes new support for multimedia and graphical content without using any plugins such as Flash. These advances are important for news publishers seeking independence and a universal development strategy.

Web apps enable publishers to avoid several problems with developing news apps for mobile devices: developing different versions for iOS and Android (not to mention BlackBerry or Windows), submitting the app to Apple for approval (which can take days or weeks) and giving Google or Apple 30 percent of revenue. Read more