SwingApp – a powerful mobile workspace for authors and editors

A new iPad app brings multimedia news creation and management to mobile users of Eidosmedia’s Méthode digital publishing platform.

“The Apple iPad puts powerful media creation and management tools in the hands of mobile users,” said Massimo Barsotti, Eidosmedia Chief Marketing Officer. “This new app harnesses those tools for the use of content creators and coordinators working outside the newsroom.”

Users of the SwingApp mobile publishing platform can create and edit news stories and blogposts in full real-time interaction with the digital newsroom workflow. Photos, galleries and videos can be inserted from the local device or newsroom sources such as wire services, located through SwingApp’s multi-domain search functions. Once inserted, photos can be zoomed, panned and cropped in place using simple pinch and tap gestures. Basic text styles can be applied and hyperlinks inserted before the story is released for approval and publication.

SwingApp is a fantastic platform for mobile content gathering and authoring,” said Massimo, “but, just as importantly, it’s fully integrated with Méthode’s News Planning environment.”

Remote authors receive tasks and assets from coordinators in SwingApp’s Incoming panel. As they complete their assignments, their progress is visible in Méthode’s shared planning space. Coordinators outside the newsroom can use SwingApp to keep track of work being done in the areas they are responsible for, including task completions and previews of stories in progress.

Like Swing, its browser-based version, SwingApp’s interface is modular, using widgets swapped in and out to tailor the workspace to the user’s specific needs: editing and search spaces for authors, monitoring and messaging functions for coordinators.

SwingApp can work both online and off. If content uploads are interrupted by a loss of network connection, they are resumed automatically when service is restored. In the meantime the user can work on open stories using local resources. A ‘send log’ shows the status of all items released to the workflow, allowing users to check on materials they have filed.

SwingApp is a web authoring software, consisting of a native iOS framework hosting Web components. “This gives us the best of both worlds,” said Maurizio Merli, Eidosmedia Digital Solutions Architect. “The native framework allows seamless integration with the iPad’s media sources and tools, from albums and libraries to the cameras and sound apps. The Web components allow us to update the app at any time without the user having to download and install anything.”

SwingApp app complements Méthode’s other mobile interface, Memo, designed to work on Apple iPhone and Android handsets: “Memo is a great no-frills tool for journalists in the field who want to create and file content quickly as possible,” said Massimo Barsotti. “SwingApp, on the other hand, is a fully-featured workspace that can create a range of formats from video galleries to long-form journalism, as well as having powerful planning and management features.”

SwingApp represents another step forward in bringing freedom and flexibility to digital publishing operations,” said Massimo. “In particular it gives supervisory and executive users an easy, hands-on interface for the management and monitoring of complex workflows.”

See Swing in action: read our newspaper CMS case studies