Today the Associated Press has announced and launched its new Mobile News Network client optimized for the BlackBerry. The new app comes in addition to the main AP MNN mobile site (www.apnews.com which was launched May 5th), and a dedicated iPhone app.
To get the BlackBerry app, head on over to bb.apnews.com from your Berry.
Full details/press release after the jump >
AP Launches Mobile News Network on BlackBerry Smart Phones
Free, New Client App Delivers the Latest News and Business Developments
NEW YORK (October 20, 2008) – The Associated Press today launched a new Mobile News Network client application optimized for BlackBerry® smart phones from Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM). The Mobile News Network application for BlackBerry smart phones is now available for free download at bb.apnews.com.
Launched in May, the award-winning Mobile News Network is a multimedia news portal providing anytime access to international, national and local news content from an unrivalled network of local media sources. With the emergence of innovative smart phone devices, AP wanted to offer a tailored version of the Mobile News Network for BlackBerry smart phone users on the go. The application supports all BlackBerry devices such as the BlackBerry® Curve™ and BlackBerry® Pearl™ series smart phones (including the new Flip phone) as well as the new BlackBerry® Bold™.
“Developing an optimized version of the Mobile News Network for BlackBerry users has been a high priority for us, and we are delighted to bring this community a seamless, single client application for mobile news across 1,000 trusted local sources,” said Jeffrey Litvack, general manager for mobile and emerging products for AP. “We are continuing to listen to feedback from our growing base of MNN fans as we work to deliver an unparalleled user experience, customized to every smart phone in the marketplace.”
The new application was recently previewed during the CTIA Wireless I.T. and Entertainment® show held in San Francisco last month.
The application has won early praise from users. “Think of it more as the ultimate newspaper replacement for your BlackBerry,” said Douglas Soltys, editor in chief of the BlackBerry Cool blog. “Man, does MNN look great. It’s clean, pretty and has a ‘newspaper’ feel to it. Both the thumbnail and larger images load quickly -- especially on the BlackBerry Bold but even on a BlackBerry Curve -- and are very hi-res.”
“More than 20 million Americans accessed news on their mobile devices in July, up 58 percent from 13 million from the same month last year,” said Mark Donovan, senior analyst, comScore M:Metrics. “BlackBerry owners, in particular, are voracious consumers of news, with 40 percent accessing news on their device.”
The Mobile News Network selected Encinitas, Calif.-based Verve Wireless to provide the content management and ad trafficking technology for the entire network. In developing the Mobile News Network client application for BlackBerry smart phones, AP teamed up with FreeRange Communications, a Portland, Ore.-based company leading the delivery of complex applications for content providers and world class media companies.
"We're pleased to be working with marquee media properties like the AP Digital Cooperative to deliver to their mobile-subscribers the information they crave - in a format that is complete and easy to use, even on-the-fly,” said Jon Maroney, CEO of FreeRange Communications. “We believe we have come out with an attractive solution with the AP that provides their audience speedy access to all their headlines, news and updates with an addictive user experience – always on and always at their fingertips.”
The Mobile News Network is the first product released by AP's Digital Cooperative, an initiative aimed at finding new digital outlets for news and information produced by AP members.
The launch of the BlackBerry smart phone version follows AP’s recently announced milestones that the Mobile News Network received more than 16 million page views and more than one million local stories were read in the month of August. For the month of September, the Mobile News Network received more than 26 million page views and more than 1.5 million local stories were read.
Today, the network covers the entire 100 top designated market areas and boasts a growing number of content contributors – more than 1,000 news organizations signed up to provide local news stories. In August, the Mobile News Network spanned across 948 organizations and has since grown to 1,004 member and affiliate outlets.
The Mobile News Network site can be accessed on all mobile devices by visiting www.apnews.com.