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Sept. 17, 2014, 9:01 p.m.
Mobile & Apps

iOS 8: How 5 news orgs have updated their apps for Apple’s new operating system

ABC, the AP, Breaking News, The Guardian, and The New York Times have all updated apps (or introduced new ones) to take advantage of new features on iOS 8.

As iPhone users frantically delete apps and photos from their phones to make space for the iOS 8 update, many news organizations are also taking advantage of Apple’s new mobile operating system to release new or updated apps that take advantage of its new features.

Two of those features prominently in many of the updates: increased functionality in Notification Center, which allows for widgets (a long-time feature on Android) and more interactive push notifications, and Handoff, part of Apple’s new Continuity feature that lets users start an action on one Apple device and finish it on another. The Wall Street Journal, for instance, today released a revamped iPad app that emphasizes those functionalities.

Here’s a partial list of outlets that have already made their apps iOS 8-enhanced and the features that they’ve included.

The Guardian

Guardian_iOS8The Guardian’s newly released iOS 8-compatible app includes Handoff integration to let stories move from device to device. The app’s layout has been tweaked and images are now viewable in fullscreen.

The Guardian also utilizes the new widgets in Notification Center. The default setting in the widget is to show a short list of The Guardian’s top stories, but users are also able to personalize the widget to show the top stories from any of the Guardian’s other verticals — from opinion to tech to soccer. If you choose to personalize the widget, it’ll also include a button that takes you to the top stories in the app. (If you stay with top stories, that button just takes you to more headlines.)

The New York Times

In addition to updating its main Times and NYT Now apps with Handoff, widgets, and interactive notifications, the Times also released a new cooking iPad app that includes more than 16,000 recipes from the Times’ archive. The Times launched its cooking site in beta in May, but it’s being fully rolled out this week with the release of the app and a responsive web version for desktop and other mobile devices that’s also open to all users.


“With the introduction of this product and the anticipated rebrand of our Dining section front to Food later this fall, readers will see even more cooking, restaurant, food and wine & spirits content from The New York Times, delivered in a convenient package across platforms,” Times food editor Sam Sifton said in a press release.

The app includes a thorough search feature that lets users search by ingredient as well as by keywords like “easy” or “vegetarian.” It’s multimedia-heavy and includes videos that can teach cooking basics. Users can also curate their own recipe box to save favorite dishes or recipes they’d like to try out.

The app also takes advantage of the widget feature in iOS 8 and will send users a daily Recipe of the Day.

Breaking News

In addition to interactive notifications and a widget in Notification Center, the Breaking News app has added a “nearby” section to the app to show users news that’s happening near wherever their phone is located. The distance is customizable — you can go from a 1 mile radius to a 100-mile radius.

The function builds on a feature that Breaking News released in June that sent users push alerts, called proximity alerts, for news that’s breaking near them. With that feature, users passively received news alerts on events near their location, but in the new version of the app users can actively seek out local news.

ABC News

ABC is taking advantage of the new interactive notifications. A new feature in its iPhone app lets users swipe a push notification from the lock screen to share the alert. The app also added a follow button to notifications to let users get continuing alerts on a certain news topic.

These additions are iterative updates to a larger overhaul ABC News introduced last month. The new app better integrates live video and lets users personalize news alerts to be delivered to an inbox in the app.

The Associated Press

Most of the changes to the iOS 8-version of the AP’s iPhone app are “backend changes that should make the app perform better than ever,” Michael Boord, the AP’s director of mobile products said in a company Q&A. But there are a few minor additions to the app that users will notice, like a Big Stories section on the app’s homepage that has collections of stories on major news events. Buttons to share to social media are also more prominent in the new app.

POSTED     Sept. 17, 2014, 9:01 p.m.
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