Posted on April 26, 2009
The world in my pocket: Thoughts on the iPhone
Today I was taking care of some iPhone business — updating apps, adding and deleting videos, cleaning up the podcasts. As I was noticing a few things, some questions occurred to me about how we will make journalism relevant and appealing.
What I noticed:
- Because I keep my full iTunes music library on my old iPod, there’s plenty of space for videos on my 16 GB iPhone. I am converting about 10 hours of video, and it doesn’t come close to filling the capacity. Watching video on the iPhone is sweet: The 3.5-inch (diagonal) display has 480 x 320 resolution. It even sounds fine without using the earbuds.
- The new NPR Mobile app (free) lets me listen to recent NPR programs without subscribing to anything. Got wireless? Punch up Fresh Air, or any other radio show you like.
Questions about journalism:
- If someone has all the videos and quality radio news she could ever find time to listen to (or watch) right in her pocket, how can anything even remotely like the newspaper compete with that? The newspaper as it was, in the heyday of the 30 percent profit margins, had something for everyone. Now the Internet-enabled phone provides that.
- Will the traditional print news organization come up with programming, instead of random and disconnected stories? I don’t mean it has to be audio and video, but it would be something with an identity, like a show or a series. The closest thing I can think of that’s not radio is David Pogue — a brand unto himself.
Breaking news is a commodity — you’ll never pay the bills with that. Hard news is not always breaking news, but how should it be packaged or bundled — to adapt to the phone? This would not be headlines. I’m thinking it might be driven by still photos, maybe sort of like the Daylife covers, but more photojournalistic.
How do you use your phone for daily information and pass-the-time activities?