The Week has launched a new iPhone edition using hybrid iOS and HTML5 technologies that require no additional design and layout work from editorial teams.

The iPhone edition of the magazine, which summarises the best of UK and foreign media, was launched in the App Store on Friday (12 October) and carries the same content as The Week's award-winning iPad app.

Alex Watson, head of app development at Dennis Publishing, explained the technology behind the app to Journalism.co.uk.

"Part of the work we did last year was to build a new CMS," he explained. The iPhone edition is fed from the CMS and "crucially that means it adds no more work for editorial teams" as they are not to required to carry out design and layout for the app.

Instead the HTML templates do the work. The iPhone downloads the same content as the iPad does, and the responsive design templates adjust to the size of the screen.

"The Facebook-style navigation on the left is all done in iOS code and the content is presented in HTML," Watson explained.

"Readers get the same stuff and we don't need to do any extra design."

Features

The app, which was designed in-house, has the same social sharing and readability features as the iPad app.


The Week Daily Briefing iPhone  The Week iPhone night mode
  • Daily briefing
The iPhone and iPad editions both contain the same content as in the print version of the magazine, plus a daily digest of stories.

The 'daily briefing' is taken from articles on The Week's "companion" website, which carries unique content not published in the magazine and is created by a separate editorial team.

The inspiration was the Today programme on Radio 4, Watson explained. The daily briefing comes out at 8am and is intended to prepare readers "for the big issues of the day".

But while wanting to add web content, Watson explained that it should be limited.

"The point of the apps is a magazine on the go," he said. "We did want to start introducing web content but we know that readers like the fact that the magazine is finite and finishable."
  • Readability
The iPhone has the option of night mode. The feature was designed for the iPad app as Dennis Publishing was aware that The Week's audience wanted to read the app in bed.

Asked whether readers are as likely to read iPhone content in that way, Watson explained that those who do use the feature like having it as an option.

"Once you've introduced a feature you don't want to take that away from people."

Another feature available on both the iPhone and iPad app is the ability to adjust text size.

"The average age of The Week's readership is relatively high and we know people don't always find phones easy to read content on."

The Week iPhone app is free to download for the first two weeks due to a partnership with Coutts bank. Users then have the options of subscribing at a cost of £19.99 per quarter, or for £2.49 per issue.

The Week will launch on Kindle Fire when the device launches in the UK later this month. "It is great that we will be on a third platform by Christmas," Watson said.

For more on The Week's iPad app see this feature on Apple's Newsstand.

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