EveryBlock unveils major update to its iPhone app

Apr 27, 2012
Tech

EveryBlock, a pioneer in data-driven hyperlocal journalism, just released a substantial update to its iPhone app that allows users to more quickly and easily report on events happening in their neighborhoods. Since 2007, EveryBlock has served users in 16 U.S. markets with geo-targeted community information ranging from crime reports and restaurant inspections to aggregated news […]

EveryBlock, a pioneer in data-driven hyperlocal journalism, just released a substantial update to its iPhone app that allows users to more quickly and easily report on events happening in their neighborhoods.

Since 2007, EveryBlock has served users in 16 U.S. markets with geo-targeted community information ranging from crime reports and restaurant inspections to aggregated news stories and user-generated neighborhood reporting. The updated app’s new features enable users to post and comment on happenings in their area directly from their iPhones.

“It’s a natural next step for us that has us more encouraged than ever about our growth potential,” said EveryBlock president Brian Addison, who joined the company last year. “Our refreshed iPhone app makes it much easier for EveryBlock users to connect around their neighborhood news as it happens, whether posting a message to inform others or asking a question about something they’ve just seen.”

With the new app, users can create a new post (labeled a “neighbor message”) directly from their device. The “New post” screen allows users to write posts and upload either stored or freshly taken pictures along with them. Previously, users were only able to submit posts from EveryBlock.com. The app will recognize where the post originates from, and gives users the option to submit posts into that particular neighborhood, or any other relevant neighborhood in that city..

While community journalism-focused apps have similar features, few if any have the reach, engagement, and industry recognition of EveryBlock, which was initially funded with a two-year grant from the Knight Foundation and in 2009 was acquired by MSNBC. The Chicago-based company has a growing and loyal user-base, particularly in urban areas with higher population densities.

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EveryBlock founder Adrian Holovaty, who continues to run the product side of the company, acknowledged that the media landscape has altered dramatically since the service was introduced five years ago.

“EveryBlock would likely have been an entirely different product if smartphones had critical mass when we started in 2007,” he said.

Although EveryBlock does not have an app for Android or other mobile platforms, the site is optimized for mobile devices.

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Brad Spirrison

Brad Spirrison is the managing editor of appoLearning and Appolicious Inc. In this capacity, he has sampled and evaluated thousands of iOS and Android applications. He also holds an M.A. in Education and Media Ecology from New York University.

Spirrison worked in concert with appoLearning Expert and Instructional Technology Specialist Leslie Morris while curating and evaluating educational applications.

A longtime media and technology commentator and executive, Spirrison is also a regular contributor to ABC News, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Bloomberg West and The Christopher Gabriel Program.

Spirrison is married and lives with his wife and young son in Chicago. As his son was born just weeks before the debut of the iPad, Spirrison takes his work home with him and regularly samples and enjoys a variety of educational applications for young children.

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