Our goal was to create an easy to use iOS app which gave the user access to the features that would be most beneficial and compelling on a mobile device including restaurant menus, coupons, local news, local events, photos from our Flickr photostream and video from our YouTube account.
Additionally, we needed to be able to monetize the app through an ad management system.
The InThePanhandle.com iPhone / iPod Touch App, named ITPWV for short, is an extension of the complete InThePanhandle.com website and features News, Events, Coupons, Restaurant Menus, Pictures, Local Businesses and Local Products.
The app allows users to share this same content via email, facebook and twitter with a few simple touches.
Just as important is the fact that the app integrates the same ad management system that we have implemented on the InThePanhandle.com site. This integration allows us to use a single advertising system across multiple platforms decreasing the learning curve and giving customers a single log-in to manage their advertising.
Why an App?
Viewing InThePanhandle.com in a mobile browser, like mobile Safari, provides a rich experience that is identical to that found in a traditional web browser. The dedicated app is meant to provide an efficient way for users to stay up to date with the most important information on the website while they are on the go.
Additionally, some features - like restaurant menus and coupons - are better suited and more valuable on a mobile device because they allow users to explore, discover and save money while on the go.
Why an iPhone / iPod Touch App?
First and foremost, it scratched our own itch. As iPhone users, we wanted to see InThePanhandle.com in app form on our own phones.
Second, since the launch of the iPhone, we knew that InThePanhandle.com was a perfect fit for a device like this and with over 70 million iPhone and iPod Touches in the hands of users, we knew this was an audience that we wanted to target. Additionally, usage stats indicate that the iPhone and iPod Touch are the top two mobile devices used to visit InThePanhandle.com, making up over 80% of all mobile traffic.
I follow ITP on Twitter. Now, I am connected to the ITP app on my iPhone. I’ve been waiting patiently for a local app to keep me connected to news, local events, classifieds, pictures, video, and other great information. Honestly, I never dreamed a local app would become reality in West Virginia. Wow, truly impressive. Thank you for promoting and encouraging technology as a means to promote our community. It’s important to me to stay informed. Thank you. - Dawn Childs on 06/25/2010