It's always exciting to make news. Today is one of those days.
This morning Palo Alto Online announces, with help from partner SachManya and YAPPER (short for Your APP MakER), our first Apple iPhone and Android-based device apps, with iPad and Blackberry apps to follow soon. (UPDATE 2:30 p.m.) We've seen press already from places like SiliconANGEL, Editors Weblog and a short story on Editor and Publisher.
Here's how we got to this place...
At Embarcadero Media, we've tossed the idea of an iPhone app around for some time. My thought has always been to go the WAP route (which we still haven't done) rather than native apps. To develop a native app in-house would take expertise we'd have to learn and time we don't currently have. Plus, the thought of having to develop for multiple platforms was daunting. Therefore, it's been on the back burner for a while.
Right around the first of the year, I got a call from Chintu Parikh (now known as chiefYAPPER). He was pitching an app (360News), which allowed users to not only get news on their mobile devices but also send news, photos and video back to news sources. Being in the position I am and where we are located, I get about five or six calls a week from people like Chintu, but his pitch made a lot of sense and was similar to what I had envisioned our entry into "mobile" being like, so we met. The thought was for Palo Alto Online and the seven news Websites to be the "local partner" on 360News. If you were in Palo Alto, when you launched the app, you would see our content from Palo Alto Online.
This seemed like a reasonable thing and a great way for us to test out the mobile space.
A couple of week later, I saw caught up with Chintu at MacWorld, where YAPPER had just won the distinguished 2010 Macworld DEMO Best of Show award and he had showcased the revolutionary technology on the main stage.
At that point, he was talking about two apps... one for the 360News content and one for our content. I suggested, if there was a way to combine them into one, then there is really something I'd be interested in.
Not long after, he said it was "totally possible" and I set up a meeting between the CEO of Embarcadero Media and Chintu. The rest, as they say, is history.
This is a great example of a company who wants to help media companies, such as the one I work for, to better their content, make it more accessible and add new features we don't have the time to produce.
So, what is YAPPER? With YAPPER, in minutes and without a single line of code, anyone can build their own native iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry mobile application starting at just $299 (our solution was more, but not that much more, because of some custom items). YAPPER is an end-to-end solution for publishers and includes many options, including in-app purchases, advertising support, analytics, app store submissions, and publish under your own company account.
You can check out the Palo Alto Online app here.