BBC News on mobile: now with local news and weather
Mobile Product Manager
News homepage on a tablet and smartphone customised for a user in Shropshire
Back in March I wrote about the relaunch of the BBC News mobile site.
Since then, my development team has been busy adding new features and functionality. Our latest update is particularly exciting because smartphone users in the UK can now personalise the news homepage with local news and weather. You can search by town or postcode, or if you phone supports it, you can use the "Use my location" button.
From then on, the news homepage will remember your settings and will give you the weather forecast for the next few hours, in three-hourly chunks, as well as the top headlines in your local area. You can easily change your settings to pick up a new location.
I'm really pleased with this new addition as it's something you've particularly been asking us for.
The BBC News development team, based in Broadcasting House in London, works in an iterative development style, using research and data to inform the next priorities. We're always aiming to ensure we are adding real improvements for our users, so your feedback is really important to us.
We've been quietly releasing updates every fortnight or so. This week's update also includes some improvements to the landscape layout for tablets, and you'll see we've added extra pictures to story pages.
Since March we have also:
- improved the navigation so you can more easily find news sections such as Business, Technology, Health and so on
- made it easier to find related news articles, including analysis from our top correspondents
- added the ability to share a story using email, Facebook & Twitter (more improvements still to come)
- improved our Live pages so it's even easier to follow the latest and breaking developments on a big story
- made layout improvements for portrait and landscape viewing on all mobiles
We're working on further improvements for mobile and tablet users. We're using an innovative approach called responsive design, to offer an optimised experience across a range of devices, from basic mobiles through to the very latest smartphones and tablets. Eventually this approach will also extend to the desktop browser. Our aim is to offer the same BBC News content across devices, while making the most of their multiple screen sizes and capabilities.
If you're interested in finding out more, my boss Chris Russell, has explained the thinking behind the responsive design approach.
I hope you like the changes so far. Please let me know, by commenting on this post or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kate Milner, Mobile Product Manager for News, Future Media