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Posts Tagged ‘tablet devices’

Would You Let ‘Tablet Experts’ Handle Your Mobile Redesign?

logoIf PadSquad, a New York City based mobile advertising startup, has anything to say about it, 2014 will be all about tablets and native advertising for independent media companies. Dan Meehan, founder and CEO, explains that his company “sits between online publishers and advertisers.”

While large publishers like the New York Times, who’s redesign was actually more desktop-y than expected, have their own developers and sales teams to optimize the mobile experience for both users and advertisers, Meehan says that his company’s focus is on “the next tier of publishers, who have a large audience, and quality content, but rely on third parties to sell their inventory. We focus on categories — men’s lifestyle, sports, entertainment and are looking to power that long tail of independent media companies.” Currently, this means sites like GoldenGlobes.com, TheDailyBanter.com, and GadgetReview.com.

PadSquad provides its services free to publishers — they migrate the desktop content to responsive mobile sites. They make their money from the advertisers, Meehan says. “We handle everything on the backend and we work with national brand advertisers and facilitate campaigns across all the pubs that we power and then we share that revenue with the publishers.” Read more

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Survey: People Aren’t News Reading; They’re ‘News Snacking’ [Infographic]

infographicMobiles Republic, a global news syndication company, recently released the results from its 2013 survey of news reading habits.

The study, based off the responses of over 8,000 of its News Republic® app users, indicates that news consumption is rising; as the number of news outlets grows, so do readers’ appetites for accurate, multi-sourced and fresh news.

Here are key takeaways and the full infographic:

People are checking the news more frequently and for shorter amounts of time.

Forget news reading. Today, it’s all about “news snacking,” meaning people are checking the news more often and typically on mobile devices. 75 percent of readers with smartphones and 70 percent with tablets check the news more than once a day. Read more

Reach News Junkies on the Second Screen

A tablet device with a user's index finger resting on the touchscreen.

Today’s viewers aren’t just watching TV as a solitary experience. Whether it’s the iPad, an Android tablet, or even the new Kindle Fire, tablet devices are quickly becoming an integral part of television viewing. Or as Nielsen puts it, cross platform is the new norm. 40% of tablet (and smartphone) owners in the U.S. used their devices daily while watching television, which creates a prime opportunity for news stations and news programs to reach a captive audience.

We’ve talked before about a few tips to define your newsroom’s mobile presence, but let’s look a little closer at a few more ways news organizations can help reach news junkies on that second screen.

Read more

6 Great Apps Turn Your TouchPad Into A News-Creating Machine

HP TouchPad

Recent news of HP’s decision to spin off their $40 billion PC business has caused quite the stir in the tech community. While the company will still continue to manufacture and sell printers (those are part of a separate division), this means that their desktops, laptops and mobile devices are now being sold off in droves. Most notable among these devices is the HP TouchPad, the tablet with Flash support which was released on July 1, 2011. When news of discontinuation surfaced less than two months from their release dates, retailers started offering fire sales of the TouchPad for $99. The strategy has convinced HP to continue manufacturing TouchPads through October and will offer software updates for the webOS platform. This has propelled the TouchPad to become the #2 selling tablet in the US, according to industry claims.

With multitasking, faster processor speeds, more RAM, and superior email, chat and wireless functionality, the TouchPad could be a viable low-cost alternative to the iPad 2 if more apps were available. At $99 though, the price point is attractive enough for interested tablet users to dive into the fray.

For those of you who have recently gotten your hands on one of the coveted TouchPads, here are a few of the apps currently available which can turn your new webOS tablet into a real news-creating machine.

Read more

Tips To Define Your Newsroom’s Mobile Presence

By 2014, mobile Internet is poised to take over desktop Internet usage. With smartphones and tablet devices like the iPad penetrating the mobile market, media consumption was at an all-time high in 2010 and is on a steady increase. A recent study from the Pew Internet & American Life Report shows that 26% of American adults get some form of news via their cell phone, with cell users under 50 almost three times as likely as their older counterparts to get news on the go. With numbers like these, the growth of mobile Internet is driving companies to take a long, hard look at their current digital strategies and put mobile first.

We’ve reported here on 10,000 Words about ways to create a mobile version of your website, and even spotlighted 15 well-designed iPad news applications and 21 iPhone-friendly news sites, but the work of creating a mobile application (or mobile website) for your news organization is less about aggregating current content and more about developing an information workflow based on the device and on how people use that device. Here are a few basic principles to have in mind when it comes to developing your mobile presence.

Keep It Simple

Because the screen size of mobile devices has a pretty wide range, it’s important to keep the interface of your mobile application or site as simple as possible. You don’t want to make it difficult for users to read the news if they’ve taken the time to download the application or navigate to your mobile site. Use a grid layout to logically organize headlines and stories, and allow enough space between links and modules to allow users to navigate without mistakenly clicking other links. For mobile websites, using responsive web design techniques allows for your layout to fit according to the dimensions and viewing orientation of the viewing device.

Reuters' iPad app has an easy to read grid layout with intuitive controls.

Reuters' iPad app has an easy to read grid layout with intuitive controls.

By contrast, The Associated Press' iPad app shows stories are that not aligned in a grid format, and the design is not clean and concise.

By contrast, The Associated Press' iPad app shows stories are that not aligned in a grid format, and the design is not clean and concise.

Keep Dual Orientation Support in Mind

When you are designing your mobile application or mobile website, you want to design for two different orientations — landscape and portrait. This is especially important for mobile applications. You don’t want elements of your app to disappear or lose prominence when you turn your device from one position to another. This goes for navigation as well — make sure that the type of navigation matches the orientation of the device once it’s rotated (horizontal for landscape, vertical for portrait)

Notice how the Rachel Maddow Show application has navigation controls at the top of the viewport, including a link to a Twitter Watch Party.

Notice how the Rachel Maddow Show application has navigation controls at the top of the viewport, including a link to a Twitter Watch Party.

In landscape mode, that navigation disappears. Where did it go?

In landscape mode, that navigation disappears. Where did it go?

Keep Flash at a Minimum

While there are mobile devices which can run Flash, using Flash should be avoided for both mobile sites and applications. For video, recent studies show that HTML 5 outperforms Flash on mobile devices. In case HTML 5 is not an option, offer streaming video options which utilize the device’s native video player. Streaming quality can change whether the user is on 3G or WiFi, so you will want to have a specific benchmark and format in mind for video delivery.

Notice the small video control on the thumbnail in the articles.

Notice the small video control on the thumbnail in the articles.

Splash pages are usually a no-no for mobile apps, but this splash page serves as a loading screen while the video buffers.

Splash pages are usually a no-no for mobile apps, but this splash page serves as a loading screen while the video buffers.

Keep Social Media and Sharing

Sharing content should be a key feature of any news mobile application or website. Users should be able to easily post news from your app or website to their social networks. If you include nothing else in your mobile presence strategy, make sure that sharing options and social media links are there.

On this app, the article can be shared via email, Facebook, Twitter, or Instapaper.

On this app, the article can be shared via email, Facebook, Twitter, or Instapaper.

These are just a few considerations news organizations should take into account when developing their mobile presence. What are some other things that should be taken into account? Leave your suggestions in the comments!