Toronto Star Launches Web App for Tablet

App, available through a browser rather than from an app store,
is a first for a major Canadian news media organization

TORONTO, Nov. 16, 2011 /CNW/ - The Toronto Star today launched a web-based application giving readers a faster, more enjoyable way of accessing thestar.com on a tablet. With an emphasis on usability, efficiency and visual appeal, the Toronto Star is the first major news media organization in Canada to introduce an app of this kind delivered entirely from the web.

The new technology allows readers to seamlessly explore Toronto Star web content, easily and quickly on iPad™, Samsung Galaxy Tab™ and other web-enabled tablets to roll out in the near future.

The web app runs on the Pressly platform and was built using the latest HTML5 technology.  HTML5 technology allows Internet browsers to perform different functions, displays higher quality images and makes advanced user interactivity possible without installing additional software.

For example, the Toronto Star's web app constantly updates content, automatically benefits from new version updates and provides quick content downloads. Users never need to download anything from an app store.

"The Star believes in providing the best reading experience to our readers, regardless of the medium through which they choose to consume our editorial content," said Michael Cooke, editor of the Toronto Star.

"Our HTML5 web app supports the company's current strategy of giving our customers access across many different channels and to reach a broader audience," said Ali Rahnema, vice president, digital media, at the Toronto Star.

"Its release also puts us in a league with just a handful of international publishers that have turned to HTML5 web apps in an effort to make finding content easier for their users and to avoid the constraints of app stores." 

The Pressly platform gives the reader a magazine-like experience of flipping through pages. Also, because users are likely to spend more time on the web app's pages than they would on the typical desktop site, businesses have a powerful, new way to advertise to readers.

"Publishers want better ways to engage their readers, and they want better ways to make money. Pressly helps them do both," said Jeff Brenner, CEO of Pressly.  "For the first time, publishers are given the context to show full screen, beautiful ads in between editorial content. These are the highest yielding ads on the web and people actually like interacting with them."

Some of the features of the Toronto Star's web app include:

  • Web browser access with no downloading from an app store required

  • Automatic updates, with readers never having to download newer versions of the app

  • Compatible with iPad™ and Samsung Galaxy Tab™ web-enabled tablets, with other web-enabled tablets to come

  • Takes advantage of multi-touch gestures, allows swipe, two-finger swipe to reveal navigation, pinch to close articles

  • Supports reading in landscape and portrait orientations

  • Allows the user to change font size

  • One touch social sharing on Facebook®, Twitter® and email

  • Full-screen highly interactive advertising, including video and geo-location

About the Toronto Star and thestar.com
The Toronto Star, founded in 1892, is read in print and online (thestar.com) by 3.0 million readers. The Toronto Star is a division of Star Media Group, which includes Toronto.com, Torstar Syndication Services, The Grid, Sway and The Canadian Immigrant. Star Media Group also includes the jointly owned Metro free daily newspapers in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Winnipeg and London, Ont., and the Chinese language newspaper Sing Tao. Star Media Group is a division of Toronto Star Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary of Torstar Corporation.

SOURCE Toronto Star

For further information:

For more information, press only:

Samia Makhlouf, Fleishman Hillard
(416) 416-598-5792
Samia.makhlouf@fleishman.ca

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