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Gooooaaaalll!!!!! The AP's World Cup App Scores for the News Business

In Entertainment, Technology, Uncategorized, World on June 10, 2010 at 10:55 am
2010 FIFA World Cup logo

Image via Wikipedia

Okay… maybe there was an O or A too many in the headline but the Associated Press seems to be on to something with their just released app that’s focused on World Cup coverage.

With the international soccer/football (depending on where you’re reading this) about to get underway, the news collective — or as they put it: “the world’s leading source for news and information” — has put together a pretty impressive though fairly straight forward app allowing fans to follow along.

Available for Apple’s devices as well those from Nokia, Blackberry and, of course, those on the Android platform (notable: the Android version supports Flash; no word on the Superman or The Green Lantern. Sorry.) the App allows you to get your information in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

Of course, the AP’s not the only organization with a World Cup App. There’s ESPN, Univision, The Telegraph and more.

And the World Cup App isn’t AP’s only app.

They have a general news one for the iPad (which, strangely, I don’t find to be quite as good as their one for the iPhone) and they have even made their venerable stylebook available as an app. Though at $28.99, it’s $3.99 more expensive than a subscription to the online version of the stylebook and I’m not sure what that’s about.

Anyway, the point is that the AP is definitely on to something with developing targeted apps that may not reach the top of the charts but will (hopefully) attract audiences.

And the AP’s not alone.

The New York Times has done it with apps for crosswords and real estate and has just released an iPad-specific guide to New York called The Scoop.

Entertainment Weekly turned their Must List into an app. Men’s Health developed one for working out. Lucky Magazine has a concierge app.

Even Highlights for Children has turned their Hidden Puzzles feature into an app.

It seems to be part of a growing trend of online consumption.

As I (and many, many others) have pointed out, when the iPad was released there was a lot of talk about whether or not it would save the magazine industry, the publishing industry, the Mets from self-destructing, world peace and so on.

And when there wasn’t immediate signs that all was once again right with the world (like it had ever really been that way), there was a bit of doom and gloom in the press.

“iPad still not proven as magazine industry’s savior as Apple announces two-millionth sale” was the headline on a Yahoo story on June 1.

That’s right. June 1. A whole two months after the device debuts and it has not yet saved the magazine, risen the dead or cured cancer.

It’s kind of like the old joke about the politician who walked on water and, afterward, people complained about how he couldn’t swim.

Think of it this way. Miracles — even small technological changes — don’t always happen overnight. I mean, television was a black and white medium for some 20 years before color programming came around.

A report earlier this week indicated that, in some cases, people are spending more time with the online versions of magazines than they had with the print versions.

Another report said that Wired Magazine may sell more digital copies this month than printed copies.

Change is coming. A bit here, a bit there, a whole lot over there. People are still finding their way, figuring out what works and what doesn’t; whether they can roll with the punches.

And we need to, somehow, be patient, understanding. Look for things that are good and encourage them, point out things that maybe don’t work so well and see if there’s room for improvement.

The AP had a good idea by making World Cup coverage an app.

Let’s see what’s next.

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