The Guardian launches iPhone application

Apple smartphone users offered download for £2.39 –  News and multimedia content accessible offline

The Guardian today launched its first iPhone application, providing readers with access to the latest news stories and multimedia features, including full-screen photo galleries and audio podcasts, on their Apple smartphones.

The application allows users to personalise their homepage to get quick access to Guardian content most relevant to them, including writing from columnists such as Charlie Brooker and Polly Toynbee. There is also an offline mode allowing users to download content that can be read when there is no mobile signal. IPhone users can download the application for £2.39.

Jonathan Moore, the Guardian’s mobile product manager, said key aims in the development of the application were fast downloading, individual customisation, an elegant design and ease of navigation.

Emily Bell, director of digital content, for Guardian publisher Guardian News & Media, said: “For a long time the paper and the web were similar in various ways, but today the web is very different. Making content available on different platforms is the key as it is fundamental to success in the digital world.

“Anyone who thinks that the internet just looks like a desktop screen is somewhat behind. That might largely been the fact five or six years ago. Now, it is clear that the web is highly distributive, so reaching out to your reader you have to engage on different platforms.”

News organisations are increasingly seeking to adapt and develop their print and web content for a fast-growing audience of users of mobile devices. More than 2 million people have downloaded the New York Times’s iPhone application.

Apple’s iPhone launched in June 2007 and it now has about 30 million users globally. A further 20 million users of the Apple iTouch – which offers wireless web access – can also download applications.

Newspaper publishers wrestling with how to make money online as print revenues decline are also hoping that mobile users may provide a new source of income. The Daily Telegraph offers its iPhone application free, with advertising, while the Financial Times provides a free application but asks readers to pay for content after clicking on 10 articles.

Tom Dunmore, consulting editor of Stuff magazine, said: “IPhone users have shown themselves willing to pay for personalised experiences. I’m sure the Guardian app will find a large audience proud to file Guardian alongside their games and messaging apps.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/dec/14/guardian-launches-iphone-application

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