New app for Apple devices adds to options for getting news

Andrew Robinson
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Gerry Carew, director of digital products and operations for Transcontinental Media, checks out the new Telegram app on his iPad. — Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

While the print edition remains its bread and butter, The Telegram hopes to reach readers in a new way with the introduction of the Telegram App for Apple mobile devices.

“I think it’s an exciting time to be in the newspaper business, and I tell a lot of people that,” said Leo Gosse, manager of reader sales and marketing for The Telegram. “I’m so excited about our content being even more and more accessible to everyone, and we’re working hard as a management team to make sure The Telegram remains a leader in the market.”

The Telegram App offers the paper’s full print edition in an electronic format, allowing the reader to view it on an iPhone or iPad device.

Though the Telegram App may only be a month old, having been released on Sept. 26, the newspaper has been available on iPads ever since the tablet computer product was first introduced to the market through the Press Reader App.

“The only way you could get The Telegram on the iPad was you had to know it was in the Press Reader App, so it was a convoluted way,” said Gerry Carew, director of digital products and operations for Transcontinental Media in Newfoundland and Labrador.

NewspaperDirect, a company specializing in the electronic distribution of newspapers and the developer of Press Reader, suggested The Telegram develop an app under its own brand. Work on The Telegram App began last December.

“It took a lot longer than what I would’ve liked, but we had to do things right,” said Carew, adding The Telegram is the first paper within the Transcontinental Media family to have its own app available through the Apple’s iTunes Store.

The mobile nature of The Telegram App allows a reader to have the paper with them in any setting, be it the gym or on an airplane. Users can share stories through Twitter or by email, use a text-to-voice feature to have a story read to them, and those with visual impairments can increase the size of text to make stories easier to read.

The paper typically becomes available at 8 a.m. or 8:30 a.m. at the latest on the day of publication.

Since the app was launched, Carew said downloads have tripled. A weeklong trial subscription is also available, which Gosse said will hopefully lead to more subscribers.

“For the advertisers, it’s important for them to know that we’re extending the reach of our brand so that the eyeballs are in print, in the digital space on our app, and online. If you combine the three of those things — the print, digital, and online — we are reaching more people than we ever did before, which a lot of people in this business don’t realize.”

According to recent numbers from the Newspaper Audience Databank, a research arm of the Canadian daily newspaper industry, The Telegram reaches more than 80,000 readers per day in the metropolitan area.

Subscribers to the print edition of The Telegram receive free access to the online Smart Edition and The Telegram App, while those who choose to subscribe through either electronic format can do so at 75 per cent the cost of a print subscription. Individual issues of the paper can also be purchased through the iTunes Store at a reduced cost.

Carew notes readers who typically place a hold on subscriptions during holidays or while heading south for the winter now have the option to continue subscribing by keeping up to date through The Telegram App.

Carew said The Telegram hopes to have an app ready for Android mobile devices, which he said are gaining traction in the technology world. It is already available on them through the Press Reader App. Incorporating a breaking news feature into the app is another step the paper hopes to make. Gosse said NewspaperDirect is already working on a way to do so.

Twitter: TeleAndrew

Organizations: The Telegram App, Apple, Transcontinental Media Press Reader NewspaperDirect

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Recent comments

  • Youngie
    October 31, 2011 - 20:02

    Belinda may have a point, not sure if she does, or not. I'm not saying she is right, or wrong. Me personally, I like the online edition mirroring the print edition in look and feel. I only have 5 minutes experience with this ap, but so far, I like it the way it is! But this is just one person's opinion!

  • Newshound
    October 31, 2011 - 14:12

    Great addition -- news that travels with you. And by the way Belinda Wilson, thousands of newspapers around the world are offering digital versions of their print products.

  • Jason
    October 29, 2011 - 21:01

    Eagerly awaiting the Android version.

  • Belinda Wilson
    October 29, 2011 - 09:48

    From the ad I've seen on TV, I think the iPad version of The Telegram is flawed. Recreating the the newspaper on the iPad is not the right use of the medium. It goes against the way people interact with tablets/mobile devices. You should be creating new experiences, developing natively for the iPad environment itself, not trying to fit the old school newspaper to the iPad. You'll notice no other newspapers in the world take the approach the Telegram does, because this strategy is already outdated. I don't think the Telegram's digital strategy is gonna work as is for the long term because it is stuck and born from a print perspective.

    • Colin Crawford
      November 14, 2011 - 23:13

      I agree with Belinda - newspaper publishers have an amazing opportunity to rethink the UI/UX and to take full advantage of the capabilities of the tablets - some are doing that - the FT, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis) by developing a HTML5 mobile browser approach . Putting a replica "under glass" is a best a transient approach designed to save publishers money and to protect their overall (print) circulation numbers. Sure, some readers who love the newspaper format will like this - but they will be in the minority. I'd really like to see companies such as Newspaper Direct release aggregated audience engagement numbers.