Friday, February 24, 2012

The Guardian and New York Times issue updates for some of their popular mobile and tablet apps; Apple reportedly buys Chomp, App Store reorg on the horizon?

The Guardian and New York Times issued updates to some of their popular mobile and tablet apps yesterday and this morning.

The Guardian issued updates for both its mobile app for the U.S. market and its popular photojournalism app for the iPad.
The Guardian for iPhone gets some additional content as the British daily added its U.S. website columnists Ana Marie Cox, Michael Wolff and Naomi Wolf to the Selected Columnists section. There was some additional content added for fashion and coverage of the U.S. election season, as well as the usual bug fixes.

The Guardian Eyewitness, the paper's popular photojournalism app for the iPad, also received an update over the past couple days. That update added in Twitter messaging improvements, as well as some bug fixes.

The Guardian's iPad app did not get an update – its last update was on December 19th.
The New York Times Company issued updates for its main iPhone and iPad news apps over the past couple of days. NYTimes, the main mobile app for the newspaper, basically got a seasonal physical, fixing bugs and improving the overall performance. The only feature oriented change involves the way one saves articles, adding them to a folder with a new icon now visible on each article inside the app.

NYTimes for iPad, the paper's tablet app, received the same updates.

The New York Times released an interesting app back in January that TNM did not write about at the time. OpenPaths is a secure location tracking app for the iPhone.

The app has kind of slipped under the radar, receiving only a handful of reviews so far in the App Store, all fairly positive. Here is how the NYT describes the service on the website:

Using our mobile apps you can track your location, visualize where you've been, and upload your data to the OpenPaths website. You can then download your data from the website in a variety of friendly formats, including KML, JSON, and CSV. The OpenPaths API enables you to integrate your own software with the platform, and you can import data from location-based services like Foursquare.
I haven't a clue what I would do with this app, frankly. But it seems pretty cool anyways. I'd use it while in Greece were it not for the data charges I'm sure I'd incur.

TechCrunch reported last night that Apple is using some of its vast cash reserves to buy Chomp, a company that has created apps to assist mobile and tablet owners find apps in both Apple's App Store and in the Android Market.

Certainly one of the biggest complaints iPhone and iPad owners have is finding apps and other media inside Apple's iTunes store. This acquisition, assuming the story is true, probably means that a reorganization of the store may be coming – or at least that Chomp's capabilities will be exploited in some way.

Chomp, according to its website, has received the backing of such venture capital and angel investors as BlueRun Ventures, Ron Conway and SV Angel, Aydin Senkut, David Lee, Brian Pokorny and Auren Hoffman.