Local media application
We have developed 12 different websites within the Tokikom platform and we have also used a similar approach for application development: a common development which then is adapted to meet the specific needs of each local media. Some of them have more sections than others, more towns, different services to manage. Fundamentally, however, they are the same application.
Such an approach just seems logical for small media: making all the sites at once, making them responsive and developing the apps requires a high investment but making them all at the same time means a high investment along with keeping them up to date. Even the largest group becomes too small to cope with everything individually.
The four apps are ready to download and try both for Android and iOS.
In regards to the applications, there are more questions in the air. What kind of applications - if necessary - does the media need? And, the local media?
What is a user looking for in a media application? Which are the main tendencies? In case of having a website and a suitable mobile version for the website, what addition can an application offer?
The largest media have undoubtedly launched their own applications. Website versions often offer the same content aimed to be consumed in different ways. Content downloading is faster and different ways to have it on hand without having an Internet connection are offered also. Changing the font size, having better integrated videos and photographs in your mobile, the quest for a more pleasant reading, favorites management, customization of themes and categories, etc. But I would say that they don't provide with a way to have all the site's content. Something is always "lost" in the application.
No doubt, almost all of them have notifications. "Breaking news".
I would say that the answer is not easy. Which "real" pluses can an application offer?
Anyway, without having a clear answer, we think the media must be included in the applications' world. And there is not another way. Develop, test and come to conclusions. Things that work with the "Washington Post", do not necessarily have to work with the local media, and vice versa. It is impossible to know without trying it before. Some of them have an open path -- Goiena, for example, already had an application, Aiaraldea, Uhinbat radio stations... -- and these four applications are about to take a leap forward. Let's see how far we get.
These applications are first versions. They do not provide us with the wide range offer that the local media can offer on their websites. Therefore, we have started by gathering some services and news.
News are the most important element. The chance to read all the news within the same application is provided and these news are filtered in different ways: depending on the town, the subject, the type of content (videos, galleries, audio...)etc. In that sense, we could say that content filtering is more conmfortable than on the website. Then, the detailed view for each news item is adapted taking the content type into account. Videos are shown in a way and photo galleries another, different types of articles and contents... each one with its format. With a clear and concise design in order to provide quick and easy reading.
As it regards the services, some of them have been automatically included in the application. There we can find the agenda, the greetings, the weather, short advertisements, obituaries... and also a commercial guide. Special work has been done to create a comfortable commercial guide, one that provides us with a quick search tool in which we can type the name of the business we want to find an a complete file is shown. In addition, some applications also offer specialized services: the opportunity to listen to live radio, webcam, a section for questions, ...
Providing that they are local media, however, we wanted to offer a way to filter the whole "menu" according to the desired town, offering the possibility of changing the following sections depending on the specific area or town: news, agenda, greetings, commercial guide... all of it in a simple way. The user will be able to add the towns he or she is interested in to the menu, and once added to the menu, he or she will be able to filter any type of content depending on the chosen town.
As we have said, these applications are a starting point. In the coming weeks there will be little updates and there will be more updates in the future.
We have already said that notifications are an important feature in this type of applications and in this local applications it will also be so. The user will be able to configure what kind of applications he or she wants to receive: being able to choose the town, the notification type... More than one type of notifications are expected, such as, news, agenda, obituaries, etc.
But the question is, how many notifications should be sent ... Should we alert the user for each event scheduled on the agenda? Does it make sense? Should we send a "breaking news" to the inhabitants of Durango for every single news? or just a notification with the most relevant news? There is also the possibility to receive a notification when someone in your town dies. When the user activates these kinds of alerts, a notification will be issued. All in all, we think that we need to perform some more tests in order to find out the middleground for the manner and frequency of such notifications.
Theses applications have been developed with "Ionic Framework" and "Angular JS" and "Apache Cordova" have been used to launch the native functionality of mobile devices. Furthermore, we have used CSS and HTML5 to provide design and structure.
These applications will use the native functionalities built in mobile devices: content sharing, the possibility to receive push notifications, sending pictures with a simple form,...