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The Blade has launched new applications for smart phones and tablet devices that are more colorful, more interactive, and more inclusive of what readers find online and in print.
Brad Vriezelaar, The Blade's new media manager, said The Blade's old smart-phone app, developed about two years ago, was getting tired. The new one is much updated and has been modeled after other popular applications.
"With the new app, we've tried to incorporate the best of all the other apps out there -- Facebook, Twitter -- and we've tried to take the way they navigate, the way they work, and make them into our news app," Mr. Vriezelaar said.
The new app, which is available today, includes The Blade's obituaries, events calendar, OurTown content (special sites for Perrysburg and Sylvania), and opinion section -- all of which are new additions. The app will still have The Blade's news, sports, business, and arts & entertainment sections.
Another new addition is a built-in weather tab that has current conditions, a 10-day forecast that includes hourly projections, and both radar and infrared maps.
The app is free, and available for both iPhones and android-based smart phones, as well as the iPad. It is also available on all Apple and android tablets. It will soon be available on the Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook. The new app will be available through Apple's App Store, Google Play Store, and the app stores for Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Mr. Vriezelaar said The Blade used feedback from the current apps users while developing the new one.
"A lot of features and ideas came right from end users," he said. "It should be a lot more user-friendly."
The new app has larger photos for featured articles. A drop-down menu gives users the selection of different sections, such as news, business, sports, and weather. Users can flip through photo galleries and articles with the swipe of a finger. Photos can be viewed full screen.
There is also an option to share any article or photo via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter.
Mr. Vriezelaar also highlighted a feature with the events list that allows users to view on a map the location of the event, and gives them the option of adding it to their device's calendar.
Contact Tyrel Linkhorn at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6134.