Polar Mobile creates multi-platform smartphone apps for Digital Journal

Digital Journal has released a range of apps spanning the most popular smartphone platforms.

Becoming one of only a handful of news outlets to bring user-generated content to mobile phones, “social news” firm Digital Journal has partnered with mobile software developer Polar Mobile to release apps for nearly every smartphone platform on the market.

According to Digital Journal’s Wednesday announcement, the Toronto-based media company has released free news apps for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch as well as BlackBerry, Android and Windows Phone devices.

The Digital Journal news apps feature articles, blogs and images from professional and citizen journalists, bloggers, photographers and reporters from around the world. Readers can use Digital Journal’s smartphone app to follow breaking news from contributors spanning 175 countries, and share articles via Facebook, Twitter and email from within the apps.

“We’re very excited about bringing user-generated content to virtually all smartphone platforms at once,” Digital Journal chief executive officer Chris Hogg said in a statement. “Mobile platforms are shaping the future of media, and we’re happy to partner with Polar Mobile to bring our engaging news network into the palm of your hand.”

Kunal Gupta, CEO of Waterloo-based Polar Mobile, said that a mobile strategy is essential to every brand, and the Polar Mobile platform will help Digital Journal “grow [its] reach on mobile and drive new revenue.”

Hogg said the new smartphone apps will complement its already highly interactive mobile site at m.digitaljournal.com. “Our smartphone app gives mobile news readers a clean and simple interface to read news, while our mobile website offers them the chance to take part and engage in the news-gathering process,” he said.

Enabling individuals to access and interact with content on mobile devices is important given worldwide mobile phone sales totalled 417 million units in the third quarter of 2010, Gartner research reported, noting the 35 percent increase over the same period the year before.

This focus on mobile apps will have an even greater importance as the smartphone market grows to 1 billion units by 2013, according to estimates from Morgan Stanley Research.

Polar Mobile research found that the application marketplace is also expected to see booming growth, as the global market for mobile app downloads is expected to climb to 21 billion downloads by 2013.

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