Thursday, May 17, 2012

Morning Brief: Weather Channel updates iPhone app with all new design; claims over 1 million downloads; Dish's 'Hopper' has the networks fuming

The Weather Channel has been a frequent updater of its its mobile and tablet apps and this morning the popular network released an update for its iOS mobile app that introduces a new design.
The Weather Channel 5.0 for iPhone (the official name for the app is still "The Weather Channel®") brings in a new look and feel for the app.

The update now changes the navigation for switching between locations: where previously one pulled down a menu of pre-designated locations, the user now swipes from to reach a different location. The feature is nice, but if one maintains a long list of cities it does require more work.

The app now features a built-in camera button on the home screen which allows for quick picture taking and sharing through iWitness, Twitter, Facebook, email, and, of course, with The Weather Channel.

Photobucket announced that users had downloaded over 1 million iPhone and Android versions of its mobile app.

The app's success should no surprise. Newspapers have all but abandoned classified advertising, even when the rise of mobile and tablets opened up the possibility of recapturing some of the revenue lost through mismanaging their web operations., after all, did not launch its first iPhone app until June 2011, giving newspapers a one year head start.

"With our mobile apps, our objective is to create a ubiquitous experience for car shoppers on the go, and the rate of adoption and usability trends of our apps is proof that users are finding them valuable," Jose Ignacio Puente, director of product strategy for mobile, said in the company's announcement. "We pay close attention to user feedback and improve our products to ensure that they are getting an optimum mobile experience."

The WSJ is reporting that the networks are not exactly happy with Dish Network's new "Auto Hop" feature or the company's new "Hopper" digital video recorder. The new features allow television viewers to automatically skip commercials on programs recorded on their Dish DVR.

In response, Fox Network has warned the satellite TV provider that it will no longer air Dish Network ads (spelled "adds" in the WSJ story, by the way).

CBS, too, has expressed displeasure. "How does Charlie Ergen expect I produce CSI without advertisements?" CBS Chief Executive Les Moonves is quoted as saying


Jay Lo said...

Sounds like the broadcasters aren’t familiar with the new Auto Hop feature from Dish where I work. I’m stoked that you can now skip commercials on Prime Time Anytime programming. The Auto Hop lets you choose to watch the commercials or skip them. The commercial is always available to watch, it just eliminates you from having to manually fast forward through them. I always hate going past the programming then I have to skip back, so this will eliminate that headache. No more having to search for the remote to fast forward commercials and I can save on batteries too.

Douglas Hebbard said...

It should be pointed out that Dish Network employs people who are responsible for spamming blogs with comments about Dish.

I routinely delete a dozen spam-like comments a month from people pushing Dish Network.