UK’s The Guardian newspaper launched a new, free mobile application for Android-powered phones on Wednesday, following the success of its iPhone app and as mobile traffic to its web properties continues to soar:
- Their mobile site, m.guardian.co.uk accounts for about 12 percent of The Guardian’s of our digital traffic
- The iPhone app, as of Wednesday, had 480,914 downloads since its launch in January 2011.
- The apps are powered by The Guardian’s Content API
Here are a few notable features of the Android application.
It’s totally customizable
You, the consumer, can follow the content that matters to you through their “favorites” options. By favoriting topics, sections and contributors, you get easy access to that content and can set those feeds as your home screen view. An example of this usage, from The Guardian’s announcement blog post:
If you like football, you could do away with the usual mix of news and sport and instead see the top five stories from our Premier League page followed by the latest from your favourite team and then Barry Glendenning’s most recent posts.
To set a custom home screen based on your favorite topics, touch the “edit home” menu and remove the topics that you don’t want to appear. You can also add section from your favorites and reorder the list base on preference.
Social sharing is enabled
Although this should be an option on all mobile apps, you’d be surprised how many news orgs don’t have the option to share via Twitter or Facebook. The Guardian’s app lets you share based on the other applications installed on your Android phone. So, for example, if you have Twitter and Facebook apps installed, you can share over those networks.
You can browse offline
Users can set the app to download content from certain sections every day so that you can access even when you don’t have 3G (or 4G) or Wi-Fi — like on your morning subway ride where reception is sketchy, or when you want to turn off 3G to conserve your battery.
What’s missing and coming next
Video doesn’t work for some phones and there’s no option for changing font size. The Guardian is also working on an iPad app that they are is nearing completion. For any feedback on its mobile apps, get in touch on Twitter at @guardianmobile.