After nearly six months of development, the Herald today launched a version of the newspaper designed for tablet computers and other mobile devices.
Compatible with iPads, smart phones and tablet browsers, readers can access the app for free at www.houstonherald.com. The app will automatically detect the device.
The new app has more of a print layout look and feel design. Readers can flip from one story to the next rather than returning to the home page to select another story. Photos display full screen and can be viewed with a swipe of the finger.
Users will find news, sports, breaking news, obituaries and death notices on the home page of the application. They can watch videos from the newspaper, find the most popular stories among readers and obtain information on the Herald’s marketplace featuring local businesses and services.
On the Apple iPad and iPhone, readers are advised to create a home screen shortcut by hitting the share button and choosing “Add To Home Screen.”
Increasingly, more of the Herald’s web traffic is coming from mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. The Herald frequently has more than one million page views monthly on its website. Readers can easily share information on social websites, such as Facebook, or send a link by email. The Herald’s fan base totals more than 3,000 on Facebook.
“Our subscribers have told us they are interested in trying new ways of reading the Herald across a variety of platforms,” said publisher Brad Gentry. “We are working constantly to develop new products that distribute our content in innovative ways, and this web-based app is just one example of that.”
Instead of asking readers to download an app to get its content on tablets or phones, the Herald will work on the mobile Web browsers those machines already have. And it will publish a single website, which will configure itself depending on the kind of device and screen size each reader uses.
The Herald’s standard online subscription rules — 12 free local stories per month — apply on the mobile end. Readers use their same user name and password assigned for desktop computer access. Print subscribers who pay $18 yearly receive the content on any electronic platforms they decide. Non-print subscribers pay $30 annually. The access also includes the Herald’s digital archives of every newspaper published since 1949, and eHerald, the full color digital replica of the print newspaper.