Big Media Launch iPhone Apps

NEW YORK A slew of major media companies have launched new applications for Apple’s latest iPhone.

Looking to make a splash on the new high speed, portable Web device/cell phone are The New York Times Co., IGN, Bravo and AOL. For example, AOL plans to release three free applications to iPhone’s soon-to-be surging user base: an AOL Instant Messenger application, another for AOL Radio and a third for its video search product Truveo.

Apple, much like Facebook, has opened the iPhone to outside developers looking to create specific programs for the device; these applications can be free or commercial in nature. (For its part, AOL hasn’t said whether it plans to monetize its applications in any fashion — something that will be worth watching as more companies flood the market with apps of their own.)

Similarly, NYT is offering a free application that enables users to read a digital version of the newspaper, whether or not they are connected to the Web. NYT’s app also features a browsing tool that allows readers to flip through different news photos and link to related stories.

Other media companies are simply producing pared-down versions of their Web content for the iPhone. For example, IGN’s offering is focused solely on game reviews. Along those same lines, Bravo’s application supplies users with recipes from the series Top Chef.

Other companies launching apps include Fox Interactive Media’s Photobucket as well as PopCap Games’ Bejeweled 2.