Posts Tagged ‘apps’

CNN’s new Android app lets citizen journalists file stories from tablets

February 3rd, 2011

At a press event designed to show off the new features of Google’s Android 3.0 OS, the world got to see various features of CNN’s new Android app. The app carries hundreds of stories, different categories, live video and interestingly, citizen journalism.

Here is a video demo courtesy of Venture Beat:

[Cross posted to Future of Media]

Digital Journal launches smartphone apps powered by Polar Mobile

December 15th, 2010

Left to right: Digital Journal CEO, Chris Hogg, and Polar Mobile CEO, Kunal Gupta, show off the new Digital Journal app. The free news app is now available for iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry devices, Android devices and Windows Phone at

We’ve just made a big announcement on Digital Journal so I’ve included the press release below:

As one of the first news outlets to bring user-generated content to mobile phones, Digital Journal is extending its presence to smartphones in partnership with Polar Mobile. Today, Digital Journal announces apps for almost every smartphone on the market.

Digital Journal has partnered with Polar Mobile to release free news apps for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch as well as BlackBerry, Android and Windows Phone devices. Available for free at, the apps enable smartphone users to read news from Digital Journalists working in 175 countries around the world.

Readers can follow breaking news via Digital Journal’s smartphone app and share articles via Facebook, Twitter and email from within the apps.

“We’re very excited about bringing user-generated content to virtually all smartphone platforms at once,” said Chris Hogg, CEO of Digital Journal Inc. “Mobile platforms are shaping the future of media, and we’re happy to partner with Polar Mobile to bring our engaging news network into the palm of your hand.”

In partnership with Polar Mobile, Digital Journal is releasing free news apps for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch as well as BlackBerry, Android and Windows Phone devices. Available for free at, the apps enable smartphone users to read news from Digital Journalists working in 175 countries around the world.

The Digital Journal news apps feature articles, blogs and images from professional and citizen journalists, bloggers, photographers and reporters around the world.

“Every brand needs a mobile strategy, and we are pleased Digital Journal has chosen to work with Polar’s Platform to grow their reach on mobile and drive new revenue,” said Kunal Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, Polar Mobile.

“The launch of Digital Journal’s new smartphone apps complement our highly interactive mobile site at,” said Hogg. “Our smartphone app gives mobile news readers a clean and simple interface to read news, while our mobile website offers them the chance to take part and engage in the news-gathering process.”

According to Morgan Stanley Research, the smartphone market will grow to 1 billion units by 2013. Gartner research reported worldwide mobile phone sales totalled 417 million units in the third quarter of 2010, a 35 percent increase over the same period the year before. The application marketplace is also expected to see booming growth, as the global market for mobile app downloads is expected to climb to 21 billion downloads by 2013, a Polar Mobile report indicates.

Download the app on your phone by searching for “Digital Journal” in your device’s app store or marketplace. You can also visit to download the free Digital Journal news app!

About is a global digital media network that attracts millions of readers. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, covers breaking news from around the world and is a recognized leader in social news with tens of thousands of members in 175 countries around the world. also consults news organizations on how to empower their audience to acquire content, drive revenue and increase engagement from digital media properties. For more information, visit

About Polar Mobile
Polar Mobile is the global leader in enabling businesses to extend their presence across mobile devices by leveraging a proprietary software Platform (SMART™). More than 7 million people in over 100 countries use Apps powered by Polar’s SMART™ Platform for the most engaging mobile experience. Polar has over 400 Apps across iPhone, BlackBerry and Android smartphones for 200 world-class customers in news, sports, entertainment and lifestyle media verticals. For more information, visit

11 key elements for the future of mobile

December 13th, 2010

Photo by Ed Yourdon

Polar Mobile, a company that makes mobile applications for more than 150 customers including Time, BusinessWeek, and Sports Illustrated, to name a few, will release a paper today that will identify the top trends in mobile for 2011.

I obtained a copy of the report ahead of its release.

Among the 11 major trends to watch out for in 2011: Security threats, major fragmentation across various platforms and devices, and massive growth for the tablet market. According to the report, social media will play an increasingly important role in mobile and marketers and businesses will need to start focusing on engagement rather than number of downloads.

“Mobile will start to become part of every business’ marketing and distribution strategy in 2011,” Kunal Gupta, CEO of Polar Mobile, said in an email statement. “That’s where we all spend our time and brands, marketers and publishers will want to capture that opportunity.”

Going into 2011, Polar Mobile says the following areas are key to the growth of mobile over the next year:

Mobile strategies will extend beyond iPhone and iPad. Polar Mobile says simply having an iPhone app is not a true mobile strategy.

Research firm Gartner forecasts mobile App downloads will top four billion this year and grow to 21 billion by 2013.

Furthermore, more than 1 billion smartphones are expected to ship by 2013, with players other than just Apple (Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Symbian, Samsung and more)

For developers working with Android, fragmentation will become a challenge because Google has released seven versions of its Android OS (1.1, 1.5, 1.6, 2.0, 2.01, 2.1, 2.2) in less than two years.

Polar Mobile says older Android devices will suffer from performance lags.

Furthermore, OEMs such as HTC, Samsung, LG and Motorola each customize their version of Android to distinguish their phones on the market. This will compound the Android fragmentation problems.

Tablets are going to be a major part of the growth of the mobile industry. Polar Mobile believes tablets will become as commonplace as computers, appearing in every home.

Going into 2011, Samsung, RIM, HTC, LG, Acer, Cisco, Dell, Motorola, OpenPeak, Viewsonic, Apple and others will all have their own tablets.

Customers will be drawn to new distribution channels and have more options when purchasing tablets, from OEMs, carriers and retailers.

Apple is expected to sell more than 10 million iPads and Samsung is expected to hit 1 million units sold this year. Gartner believes more than 55 million tablets will be sold in 2011.

Right now advertisers, marketers and businesses typically focus on number of downloads rather than number of active users. In 2011, that will change.

Polar Mobile says most businesses have no clue what happens inside their apps, which is why most only report on the number of downloads. In 2011, improved analytics and tracking capabilities will allow companies to build products that promote user engagement, and enable them to tweak based on real-world feedback.

Companies will shift priorities to focus more on continued usage than number of downloads.

Like the Web, social will play a huge part in the future of mobile.

Polar Mobile notes that 35 percent of Twitter’s active members use the service on their mobile device.

[url= t=_blank]According to Facebook[/url], there are more than 200 million active users who access the site via their mobile device and those users are twice as active as non-mobile users.

Polar Mobile says mobile consumption habits are different than online user experiences and social will play a role in making mobile unique.

With the rise of usage on mobile platforms, the world will see more mobile-exclusive brands and content emerge.

Polar Mobile says new, mobile-only brands will be launched by traditional publishers and niche and focused content will be used to create “greater user stickiness.”

Companies that expand on mobile will also be able to leverage new distribution channels to acquire new users.

Paywalls are going to suffer on mobile. Outside of iTunes, Polar Mobile says it’s very difficult to buy physical or virtual goods on your phone, and limited infrastructure will be the stumbling block for paid content.

Polar Mobile says the industry needs major infrastructure updates and billing improvements before paid content and micro-transaction businesses will see mass adoption.

Applications and mobile websites will be more intertwined, offering a better user experience. Polar Mobile says apps will leverage the mobile Web to scale utility and add custom features across multiple devices.

As the app and mobile web markets mature, average users eventually won’t be able to tell the difference between a mobile website and an app.

Apps will begin using near-field-communication (NFC) technology to enable them to become mobile commerce tools. For example, retailers will be able to use NFC to increase in-store purchases by pushing notifications to shoppers about deals or specials.

Polar Mobile says Android Gingerbread, the recent release of the OS, also supports an API for NFC, giving developers the tools they need to build functionality into apps.

In addition to NFC, RFID chips implanted in smartphones will turn them into payment tools.

Companies and individuals will need to pay more attention to App security and threats, as mobile adoption grows into 2011.

Polar Mobile says smartphones often store far more personal information than desktops that is easily accessible by mobile apps, and App distribution channels do not currently mandate security testing.

The company warns that nefarious developers could use techniques such as spoofing, tampering, repudiation, information disclosure, denial of service, and elevation of privilege to get personal information.

Finally, Polar Mobile says fragmentation across operating systems and devices will grow exponentially. Going into 2011, there will be a huge number of mobile platforms, including Apple iOS, Google Android, RIM BlackBerry, Windows Phone, HP Palm, Samsung Bada, Nokia Symbian and Intel MeeGo.

The device market will also expand, including smartphones, feature phones, tablets, smart TVs, automobiles, netbooks and browsers.

Amazon to let users lend eBooks

October 25th, 2010

Photo by Andy Ihnatko

In a short announcement posted to Amazon’s site, the company says Kindle users will soon be able to lend books to one another.

While details are still scarce, Amazon says the lending feature will happen later this year and it will allow Kindle users to loan eBooks to other Kindle users for a loan period of 14 days. While the book is out on loan, the lender cannot read it.

Amazon says not all eBooks will be lendable, as it will be up to the publisher or rights-holder.

Amazon also announced it would make Kindle newspapers and magazines readable on Kindle apps for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch (Android coming later), so users who buy books or newspapers can read content on devices other than just the Kindle. Amazon says this should launch in the coming weeks.

(Cross-posted to Future of Media)

Google announces Google TV, a web and smartphone-enabled television

May 20th, 2010
Couch potatoes rejoice: Google is coming to a TV set near you. The company announced today it’s entering the crowded TV space in an effort to help you find content you want to watch, when you want to watch it.
At the Google I/O developer conference today, Google showcased its upcoming Google TV. The company hopes to organize the enormous amount of video content available today and make it easier for viewers to find content.

Partnering with Sony and Logitech, Google will launch an Internet and wi-fi enabled set-top box that can connect to a TV with an HDMI cable. Some TVs will also come with the software pre-installed.

When you turn on the TV, viewers will notice the set-top box comes with Google Chrome (the company’s web browser) installed. Viewers will use a keyboard and “pointing device” to flip through channels and find video. When you turn on the TV, you’ll see a search bar that allows you to search for video content from both television and the Web. The set-top box can also be used to create customized menus, watch TV or record it for later.

What makes this announcement particularly important from a competitive standpoint, however, is Google’s integration of content in addition to just video; Google TV allows users to browse through television channels, websites, apps, shows and movies.

“This opens up your TV from a few hundred channels to millions of channels of entertainment across TV and the web,” said Google TV Product Manager, Salahuddin Choudhary, in a blog post. “Your television is also no longer confined to showing just video. With the entire Internet in your living room, your TV becomes more than a TV — it can be a photo slideshow viewer, a gaming console, a music player and much more.”

Google says four billion people worldwide watch TV, and the average American spends five hours per day doing so. The company also notes how a lot of people are increasingly spending time consuming entertainment on their phones and computers. Google says Google TV will offer the best of both the Web and TV worlds in one place.

“Already know the channel or program you want to watch?” Choudhary asks. “Just type in the name and you’re there. Want to check out that funny YouTube video on your 48” flat screen? It’s just a quick search away. If you know what you want to watch, but you’re not sure where to find it, just type in what you’re looking for and Google TV will help you find it on the web or on one of your many TV channels. If you’d rather browse than search, you can use your standard program guide, your DVR or the Google TV home screen, which provides quick access to all of your favorite entertainment so you’re always within reach of the content you love most.”

In addition to making the TV web-enabled, Google TV is also integrated with smartphones and the Android Market. That means Google TV can be controlled using smartphones and speech recognition. Furthermore, Google TV can run any Android app that doesn’t require phone-specific hardware. The result: Apps such as Twitter or Facebook will work on your television.

The company has also inked some important partnerships to ensure the service hits the ground running.

“We’re working together with Sony and Logitech to put Google TV inside of televisions, Blu-ray players and companion boxes,” Choudhary said. “These devices will go on sale this fall, and will be available at Best Buy stores [across the U.S.].”

In addition to hardware partnerships, Google has signed deals with organizations like Netflix and the NBA to provide optimized Web content allowing viewers to connect to online schedules, DVR programming and suggested programming lists.

Finally, the biggest part of this launch is arguably the announcement that Google will provide developers with a software development kit so they can build rich applications and distribute them to Google TV users via the Android Market.

This open market for television works similar to how Apple allows developers to build apps for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. The end result: TV viewers will get a myriad of new features and content that can be updated comfort of one’s couch.