Here’s a video interview by Conrad Quilty-Harper with the creator of the ASBOrometer app for iPhone and Android. The app pulls information available through Data.gov.uk, allowing you to see levels of antisocial behaviour (and other data) near you. More broadly he talks about the potential of data.gov.uk going forward. Obvious implications for local and hyperlocal journalism…
Steve Outing highlights how Men’s Health are exploring the new features of the 3.0 iPhone/iPod Touch operating system:
“Now, in addition to charging for the app itself, publishers can charge for additional (premium) content from within the app.
“Here’s how it works with the Men’s Health app: Once on your iPhone, you get 18 workouts that the application guides you through and records your progress. Men’s Health also sells additional workouts, called “Expansion Packs”: for example, “Huge Arms in a Hurry” for 99 cents; “The Ultimate Golf Workout Series” for $1.99; “The Ultimate Abs Pack” for $1.99; and “Build a Beach Ready Body” for 99 cents.”
Outing then explores what news organizations could charge for within an iPhone app (much more detail on his post):
- One-off premium purchases
- Enable premium services for an added fee
- Delay the news by an hour
- 99 cents gets you a basic news app with advertising. Pay an extra $4.99 inside the app to upgrade it to the no-advertising version.
- A paid upgrade that delivers alerts of various happenings (news event, house sold, apartment burglarized, road construction detour installed, etc.) within a user-selectable mile radius of your house.
Steve is inviting more ideas on his post.
Last September in ‘Why fantasy football may hold the key to the future of news‘ I wrote that data was one of the few advantages that news organisations have, and they should be doing more with it. A piece in today’s ReadWriteWeb adds a little commercial stardust to that hypothesis:
“MLB.com’s already wildly successful iPhone app [has] a $10 price tag that sports fans are apparently happy to pay, this could provide a great model for other struggling media to find an important new revenue stream – and not just because it charges for content. “… Any media outlet that can leverage statistics and data visualization as a central part of its coverage would be well served to put those visualizations in an iPhone app and sell it. The iPhone and Android platforms are brilliant for scrolling and zooming through layers of data in ways that print, TV and radio could only dream of. Mobile, touchscreen and hand-held beats a web page on the desktop computer too for data visualization.”
Amen to that.
Whenever I do sessions with people in the industry about online business models I show them The Guardian’s Chalkboard. That for me is a prime candidate for a premium mobile app (assuming there are no licensing issues) – not just because of the data, but because it is social. News orgs take note.
You may have seen this on Mashable, but equally, you may not, so I thought I’d pass it on. Demonstrating the value of being open about your processes (because this document will now be viewed by thousands of people), PhotoKast created this 37-page guide to how they developed their iPhone app. Very useful reading if you’re thinking of doing something for iPhones.
Nokia have unveiled the N97 and Robert Scoble makes a compelling case for its superiority over the iPhone. Curiously, many of his points mirror ones I had prepared in a blog post comparing the iPhone to the N95, giving me the perfect excuse to finally publish it.
The iPhone is overrated. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Yes, it’s got great usability, but for a journalist it just doesn’t compete. And here are 10 reasons why:
- A crappy camera. 2 megapixels is terrible – the N95 has 5. Not to mention auto-focus, flash, etc. etc.
- No video camera. Inexcusable in the YouTube age. Yes there are workarounds but…
- You have to jailbreak the iPhone to use streaming services like Qik. Installing Qik (or Bambuser, or Shozu) on the N95 is pretty straightforward. The fact you have to jailbreak the iPhone at all says a lot about Apple’s attitude. Nokia’s Symbian operating system is open (if not open source yet).
- You can’t save webpages. Once again, you can on the N95.
- No alternative browser. Opera Mini is great on the N95.
- Battery power. You can at least have a spare battery for the N95.
- No recording of audio. You can on an N95, and email it to Posterous for instant podcast.
- Walled garden for apps. Apps on the N95? Get them anywhere, without the worry that Nokia will lock them out in the future.
- Fiddly keyboard. Particularly difficult when there are…
- No external keyboards. You can buy a number of cute bluetooth keyboards for the N95 which make it possible to type updates and blog posts very quickly.