BlackBerry Guardian app
Credit: The Guardian
Al Jazeera English has today launched a news app for BlackBerry 10 and Android tablets, with a new iPad app coming soon.

Although the BlackBerry and Android apps were developed separately to complement the respective platforms, both include key features such as background audio, livestreaming and sharing.

"We took the native approach and worked closely with BlackBerry rather than just porting over an Android app," Al Jazeera's head of mobile media, Safdar Mustafa, told Journalism.co.uk.

BlackBerry users will be able to share links and pages from the app through BlackBerry Messenger, while it also uses native features for ease of navigation.

"The main thing is the quick access to news," continued Mustafa, "We pride ourselves in giving free, high-quality livestreaming. So you're able to watch video from any window and pull in the menu from the top."

Al Jazeera android
The new Android tablet app

The Android app is specifically aimed for tablets, with the seven-inch and 10-inch versions in mind. It includes the same features as on the BlackBerry but, with adjustments for the different platform, will take advantage of the larger screen size.

"It's very easy and intuitive," Mustafa said of the Android app, "with nice, big pictures when you go through the pictures gallery. It attracts people through the pictures and then they can dig a bit deeper to have a look deeper into the story."

Currently, Al Jazeera has livestreaming apps for iPhone and iPad, but Mustafar told Journalism.co.uk that a new iPad app is being worked on.

He said the iPad experience will "have a very different concept [in terms of] what we wanted to bring across in the whole browsing experience and the companion app."

Al Jazeera English launched an iPad magazine app in September to highlight the breadth of its coverage and attract new audiences.

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