Student-Developed iPhone News Application Ranked in Top Five on iTunes after Launch

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By Angela Hamilton
Master’s Student

Columbia, Mo. (Nov. 19, 2009) — An iPhone application co-developed by a Missouri School of Journalism student recently became the fifth highest-rated news application on the iTunes┬ástore in the week following its launch.

Newsy.com iPhone Application
The Newsy.com iPhone application makes it possible to analyze a story from a variety of sources.

Journalism student Tony Brown and Peng Zhuang, a doctoral student in computer programming, created the application for Newsy.com. The app, like the company’s Web site, provides access to different news videos on the same topic. This gives readers a more comprehensive look at the day’s top stories.

Zhuang was pleased and surprised by the popularity of the app he helped create.

“That is really amazing. We have some other popular apps, but this is the first one that’s been official in the app store. We got about 6,000 hits each day which is really an amazing number,” Zhuang said.

Brown and Zhuang created the iPhone app as part of a three-hour class available to journalism and other students interested in news analysis. Students can work on developing Web applications, producing videos, sourcing and analyzing news content as well as marketing and promoting specific news items.

Zhuang and Brown plan to incorporate user feedback in future product improvements. Possible updates include adding links to the original news source or the ability to sort by different categories. Additionally, the student development team plan to continue researching how to broaden the Newsy brand and take advantage of other mobile platforms.

Newsy.com, founded by Jim Spencer, MA ’91, located to Columbia from San Francisco in Summer 2008.

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Nov 19, 2009

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