Content Distribution: Chrome Web Apps

Use: Efficiently develop desktop apps that will work seamlessly across operating systems/devices with or without an Internet connection

Google’s Chrome team has developed a Web-app technology that sits on top of, but is not dependent on the, Web browser and works across operating systems (currently Windows and Chromebooks, but reportedly coming for Mac, iOS, Linux and mobile platforms as well.  The technology is built with HTML5, JavaScript and cascading style sheets.

According to ReadWrite: “Chrome Web Apps open in their own windows, not the browser. But these apps will work offline and can use hardware (memory cards, cameras, drives) connected to the device they’re running on—something that traditional Web apps can’t do. The browser itself doesn’t even have to be running, although the apps will tap into its native functionality.”

While many publishers are developing HTML5-based sites that provide app-like capabilities on any browser, the Chrome Web Apps — because they open outside of the browser and don’t require an Internet connection — feel more native-app like.  Of course, users will have to install the Chrome browser on their desktops for the technology to work.

More:

ReadWrite: A New Google Technology Aims To Make Apps Run Everywhere—Well, Almost

Information Week: Google Debuts Chrome Web Apps

The Verge: Google’s Trojan horse: how Chrome Apps will finally take on Windows

 

 

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Mobile: Mobile Analytics

Use:  Track mobile usage behavior, including usage and transactions

The following article from The Next Web offers recommendations on mobile analytics  packages from nine entrepreneurs:

9 tools to help you measure mobile analytics

 

More:

Moby Affiliates: The Best Mobile Site and App Analytics Tools

Apptamin Blog: Learn How People Use Your App – An App Analytics Tools Round-Up

Content Development: POP App

Use:  Easily create rough iPhone app prototypes

POP App allows publishers to sketch out app prototypes on paper (or online), upload photos of the sketches and then animate the action to see a rough version of the app in action.   After sketching and uploading photos of a storyboard, users can create “link spots” within the app to simulate the user interface.  Transition effects include basic, next, back, rise and dismiss.   You can then share the prototype with others to try out on their iOS device or Web browser (Android versions are in the works).

More:

The Next Web: Here are our 5 favorite companies from 500 Startups’ sixth batch demo day

CultofMac: Ingenious Pop App Lets You Design Apps On Paper [Review]

 

 

 

 

Content Development: Prss

Use:  Create compelling iPad “magazines” with easy-to-use tools

Prss is an app that allows non-technical users to create magazine-like publications that use the iPad’s native interactive capabilities.  The app, which is now in beta and is scheduled to be publicly released at the end of the summer, uses the iPad’s interface — swiping, tapping, pinching, etc. — instead of menus to create multimedia and shareable magazines.  The product also dramatically reduces file sizes for speedier streaming from the cloud.

The Netherlands-based company used the technology to create TRVL, the iPad’s most-downloaded travel publication.  Their current business model is to offer the app for free and charge a small fee per download.

Publishers who want to offer iPad users a more compelling, native experience with inexpensive and intuitive creation tools, should explore this application.

More:

Update 10/7/13: The Next Web: Prss is a powerful new way to create professional-quality iPad magazines in your browser

Gigaom: Prss is trying to design the iPad publishing app that Apple never built

Paidcontent: PRSS aims to be a low-cost iPad magazine factory in the cloud

Video: Wibbitz

Use: Increase engagement and exposure through a video summary version of news stories on mobile devices

Wibbitz is a new iOS-based mobile app that automatically creates a video summary of a text news article or blog post, incorporating images, graphics and text.   Wibbitz app users can select stories from a variety of categories and hear a computer-generated voice read a summary of the story while watching related images and animated infographics.

Wibbitz has reportedly partnered with 50,000 sources including AP, CNN, Yahoo!, Reuters, Huffington Post and NBC  to provide with to the site.   PaidContent reports that Wibbitz will provide publishers with its technology “at some point in the future so that they can incorporate Wibbitz’s service  into their own apps,” with the London Telegraph the first to do so next month.

Publishers may want to consider partnering with Wibbitz to gain exposure for their own content and contact Wibbitz about incorporating their technology to easily provide mobile users with a more engaging news experience.

More:

Update 11/12/13: GigaOM: Wibbitz wants to be the “play button” for text media

paidContent: Why the startup Wibbitz could wipe out some publishers’ video businesses

Readwrite: Siri Will Now Read You The News, Courtesy of Wibbitz

APPS: Apple’s New iOS7

Use:  Leverage Apple’s OS upgrades to provide improved design and functionality to mobile apps

Apple this week announced upgrades (and somewhat of an overhaul) in the new iOS7 which will be available this fall.   Initial reviews, based on a keynote presentation at Apple’s developer conference, have been mostly positive.

New or improved features include:  a Control Center for frequently-used functions: Notification Center that aggregates alerts to new e-mail, missed calls, calendar items, etc.; improved multitasking; upgraded camera features; new ways to group photos and videos; instant sharing with people nearby through wifi or blue-tooth; iTunes radio; Safari and Siri improvements; App store upgrades including the ability to find apps relevant to your current location (let’s hope media apps are included in that…); and more.

Here is a round-up of improvements/enhancements:

Apple: iOS7 Coming this Fall

Nieman Journalism Lab: A proof of concept for a news site sending a push notification to a desktop computer  ➚

ReadWrite: Apple’s New iOS 7: What You Need To Know Now

VentureBeat: iOS 7: Here is Apple’s mobile operating system of the future (photo gallery)

TechCrunch: Apple Introduces iOS7