The Times of India* has launched apps for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry smart phones, in addition to a tablet version for the iPad. The apps are free downloads, available in app stores of the respective platforms. There is no subscription fee for access to content at this time. The smartphone apps offer standard features allowing readers to access stories classified under different sections, as well as videos and photos. The iPhone app also allows downloading of complete sections for offline reading. The best part about the apps are that they are free of ads. So how would TOI monetize them? This might be an initial phase and ads will make their way sooner or later. Paid subscriptions are not likely to work in India. Smart Phone Apps The interface differs since the apps make use of native UI elements, and so does the terminology at times. For example, one can save articles in the iPad version, while one Favorites them in the iPhone version. A carousel is employed in the Android and BlackBerry version to browse different news sections, while there is no such option in the iPhone or iPad versions. One reason for this heterogeneity might be that each one has been designed by different developers. The BlackBerry app is developed by Converse Today, while the iPad app is made by Robosoft Technologies, the same company that designed NDTV's apps. Android and iPhone apps don't credit any specific app developers. iPhone and BlackBerry apps do not take advantage of…
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