November 3, 2015 Last Updated 7:20 am

WSJ releases first iPhone app targeting specific financial region: WSJ City

Morning Brief: Roku updates its iOS remote app, adding “Find My Remote’ feature for the Roku 4, while Apple’s own Remote app does not work with the new Apple TV

The Wall Street Journal on Monday released a new iPhone app specifically for the London business and financial community. Called WSJ City, the app is part of Dow Jone’s efforts to expand its international reach.

WSJCity-iPhoneThe free news app opens with a message for Gerald Baker, editor-in-chief of the WSJ, followed by a description of the news feeds to be found inside, as well as the market data available in the app.

“This is our first app targeting a specific financial centre, taking advantage of Financial News and The Wall Street Journal’s deep reporting of the City and global markets,” said Baker.

WSJ City features include:

  • News updated from 6 am to 9 pm on the biggest deals, market moves and the most significant people stories in the City.
  • Live data including major stock markets, currencies, commodities and bonds.
  • Premium business news from The Wall Street Journal, Financial News, Barron’s and MarketWatch.
  • Alerts on major breaking news affecting the City.

The new iPhone app will be available for free at launch and will subsequently be available exclusively for subscribers of The Wall Street Journal and Financial News. No word if an Android version is in the works.

Efforts to build international readership in order to increase paid digital subscriptions will be a major element of the publishing strategies of brands such as the WSJ and NYT. The web and mobile apps allow for these types of expansion efforts, and it is frankly odd that US newspaper brands have not been more aggressive in this regard, as this has been a common strategy of US magazine brands for quite some time.

Likewise, several UK newspapers have sought to expand into the US and elsewhere. The Guardian currently has US and Australian websites, as have some of the tabloids.

“We will continue to develop new audiences and grow The Times as an international institution, just as we once successfully turned a metro paper into a national one,” the NYT executive team said in a recently released strategy memo. “As part of these efforts, we will continue to test and refine new country‐specific approaches to reaching new audiences and gaining subscribers, including experimenting with translations, local briefings and specialized content built for social media.”


Amazon has opened its first physical bookstore location at 4601 26th Ave. NE in University Village, Seattle.

“Amazon Books is a physical extension of,” the company said in a letter to customers. “We’ve applied 20 years of online bookselling experience to build a store that integrates the benefits of offline and online book shopping. The books in our store are selected based on customer ratings, pre-orders, sales, popularity on Goodreads, and our curators’ assessments. These are fantastic books! Most have been rated 4 stars or above, and many are award winners.”

Amazon describes its effort as a ‘store without walls’ as the buyer will, of course, have access to ordering items through the online retail site, as well as browse its more curated offerings inside the store itself.

In addition to books, Amazon said it would offer hardware products such as its Kindle eReaders and Fire tablets, as well as the Fire TV and Echo.

Amazon will not commit to the idea of launching more store locations, but if they take an approach similar to Apple’s – that is, using the stores as marketing tools for selling its brand – it may well decide to expand.

Amazon also today updated its Amazon Music with Prime Music app, though the app description is the exact copy of its last app description – likely meaning that this is designed to fix a bug.

Meredith released bug fix updates for most of its portfolio of magazine titles – its ten titles that appear under its own developer account name, as well as for Martha Stewart Living which still appears under the MSLO account name.

That app has gotten terrible reader reviews since Meredith took the app from a native digital edition to a PDF replica when it took over responsibility of the title last fall.

With Apple’s release of the new Apple TV, Roku will have to be aggressive in making sure it improves its offerings. One area where it currently has an advantage is, ironically, within the Apple ecosystem. You see the new Apple TV does not work with Apple’s own Remote app – and oversight that really tells a big story about what is going on at Apple these days.

“You’re kidding, right?” one reviewer wrote of the Apple Remote app’s lack of support for the new Apple TV.

RokuRemote-iPhoneRoku, however, has its own iOS app, and it does work with its devices, including the new Roku 4. It has updated its app and added are features.

What’s New in Version 3.3.1

  1. Create a screensaver for your Roku player using photos from your mobile devices (Available with Roku 4 only).
  2.  Support for iCloud photos in Play on Roku photo and Mobile Screensaver.
  3. Find My Remote feature (Available with Roku 4 only).
  4. Stability and performance improvements.

Roku’s biggest problem remains it poor quality control. The unit sent to me when the Roku 4 was released was DOA, and Roku support – which is not the best in any case – could not suggest any fixes, so back it went.

I remain with my Roku 3, which does work, though it tends to overheat, leading to the remote control failing and the need to reboot the unit.

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