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This week Apple continues to encourage iOS users to consume their news via the iPhone and iPad by prominently featuring news apps in the itunes home page’s “News Stand” section. Next to the usual lineup, CNN, the Wall St. Journal and Time Magazine is a new player.  The ‘Marilyn Monroe’ of news, Blancspot is a sexy and modern take on a news industry badly in need of a facelift.

The Apple iPhone is defined by its user experience. “Sleek,” “Sophisticated” and “Stylish” are only some of the words that come to mind when faced with a shiny new iPhone or iPad. Traditionally, national and global news coverage does not have the same sort of adjectives associated with them. Things like “depressing,” “flat” or “biased” are often found more closely tied to how the public views mass news media.  Pulling the two together is Blancspot, a revolutionary new way to experience and interact with the news on the iPhone that combines photojournalists elements and solid news reporting with social media and cause activation tools.

The idea has intrigued Apple, which is now prominently featuring Blancspot in the iTunes App Store for the second week running. “We were thrilled at the response we got to Blancspot from Apple,” said Camille LeBlanc, CEO of Blancspot Media. “The idea of Blancspot fits hand in hand with the ideology of Apple, where not only is function paramount, but the entire experience of the user. Blancspot is not just news you read – its news you experience.”

Being on Apple’s good side has its advantages. In the first 24 hours of its release, Blancspot shot to the top five of the best selling news applications, where it stayed for a week. In that time, its sales also landed it the number three position in the coveted top grossing news apps.

The goal of Blancspot is to give consumers a full 360 view of news, allowing them to form their own judgments and become a part of it, either through discussion or active engagement. To do this, Blancspot provides:

  • Stunning images from top photojournalists around the world presented in cinematic sequences set to an ever evolving soundtrack.
  • An unbiased summary of complex topics with links to relevant external sources on both sides of an story
  • Engagement with up to the minute social conversation through a targeted look into Twitter
  • The ability to engage with or create causes related to the news

Blancspot is currently available for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and to celebrate its successful launch and featuring by Apple has reduced the price to $1.99 for a limited time . An iPad optimized edition of Blancspot is scheduled for a mid September debut.  For up to the second headlines and updates, follow Blancspot Media on Twitter @BlancspotMedia, or on Facebook.

About Blancspot Media

Blancspot Media LLC, a privately held, privately financed company headquartered in San Francisco, CA, and was founded in 2009 by Camille LeBlanc, co-founder and former CEO of Roubini Global Economics, a leading macroeconomic information service and strategy firm. The Blancspot team is made up of technology and media veterans whose experience comes from companies such as Yahoo!, Dow Jones, MobiTV, Sega, Apple, Nokia, NBC, and more. The company raised an angel round of funding from private investors led by veteran Hollywood film producer Frank Marshall of Kennedy/Marshall Company.


If there was any city in Europe that an international iPhone conference should be held at – its Amsterdam. No, not because it has an infamous red-light district and liberal policies towards the recreational use of cannabis, but because Amsteram represents some of the same values of free expression that makes the iPhone what it is today. Before the iPhone – mobile development was considered by many too difficult or cumbersome to deal with. Technology was limited, access to carriers for distribution was limited, and most of the deals were done behind closed doors.

While we may still have a ways to go before we reach mobile utopia (many would say that the Android platform is the next step in the right direction), the coming together of developers and thought leaders from around the world in a global conference is a step in the right direction.

iCElogo

Later this month (November 25th – 27th), the iCE Amsterdam conference will open its doors to those same developers and thought leaders to come together and share their knowledge and insights into the most exciting mobile platform on the planet. Some of those people include:

  • Jonathan Wight, Chief Technology Office of Small Society, most notably on app projects like myStarbucks, WholeFoods and Obama 08.
  • Keith Shepherd and Natalia Luckyanova co-founders of Imangi Studios, the team that bought us the popular “Harbor Master”
  • Paran Johar, JumpTap’s head of global marketing activities
  • Dom Sagolla of San Francisco who helped create Twitter in 2006, He is also the founder of DollarApp, and the co-founder and host of iPhoneDevCamp
  • Mike Lee, known by some as “the World’s Toughest Programmer”, has worked on some of the best known titles on the App Store, including Obama ’08 and Tap Tap Revenge.

Just to name a few.

During the Pre-Conference day on Wednesday 25 November the iPhoneDevCamp will part of the program. iPhoneDevCamp is a not-for-profit gathering to develop applications for iPhone and iPod Touch using both the native SDK and web standards. Previous iPhoneDevCamp events have been held at Adobe Systems in San Francisco, July 2007 and August 2008. The last iPhoneDevCamp was at Yahoo in Sunnyvale, August 2009.

The event is actually sponsored by the city of Amsterdam itself, and if my “Convert” app from Polar Bear Farm is correct, cost ranges from $732.45 for one person to $294.46 per person if talk four of your closest friends into going with you.You can register for the conference here.