Meredith relaunches local mobile news apps for iOS, Android platforms

Meredith has relaunched local mobile news apps for its local broadcast stations with a solution from StepLeader (formerly News Over Wireless).

The relaunch includes live streaming video support, app upgrades on the iOS and Android platforms and enhanced interactive weather features.

According to Tom Cox, VP Digital Content, Meredith Local Media Group, the station group has relied on StepLeader since 2005 when the company built its earliest mobile applications.

“Our partnership enabled us to become the first large TV group to launch station news apps into Apple’s App Store, and they have helped us evolve our offering as our audience expectations and industry standards have shifted,” he said. “Over recent years their development team has helped us keep pace with optimized news apps across Apple’s App Store, the Android marketplace with Google Play and the Amazon Appstore for the Kindle Fire.”

With the relaunch, StepLeader now provides live video streaming capabilities for each of Meredith’s local television stations. Each has the ability to activate streaming capabilities to deliver breaking news and other selected coverage to their audience at any given time. StepLeader handles the device detection and encoding for the variety of formats required for mobile viewing.”

To access the new app features on the iOS and Android platforms, Meredith users should upgrade to the latest version of their local mobile news app. All iOS universal apps feature a number of improvements, including: support for pro-roll video advertising; complete UDID transition (in compliance with Apple’s rules related to user IDs); faster content feeds; and iPad user interface improvements. From the iPad, users can now access pop-up menus; swipe between stories, images, and animations; use the split-screen view in landscape; and use the new scrolling tab bar.

Android users will also experience big changes in this latest upgrade, including: a tab bar navigation feature; updated story navigation; and the ability to swipe between stories, images and animations. Additional updates and improvements include: rich media and HTML ad support; in-app Web browser; stream audio notification in the status bar; faster startup and navigation; less memory use; and better video streaming.

StepLeader has also partnered with Weather Central to bring enhanced interactive weather features to Meredith mobile news app users. Through the new iOS and Android app upgrades, users can access interactive maps for forecasts and Futurecast. They can additionally leverage the multi-city seven-day forecasts on their mobile devices.

In May, StepLeader launched Kindle Fire apps for 10 Meredith local broadcast stations, including: WGCL in Atlanta; KPHO, Phoenix; Fox 12, Portland, OR; WFSB Hartford/New Haven, CT; WSMV, Nashville, TN; KCTV, Kansas City, MO; Fox Carolina, Greenville, SC–Asheville, NC; Fox 5 Vegas, Las Vegas, NV; WNEM, Flint/Saginaw, MI; and CBS 3, Springfield/Holyoke, MA.