Dave DeJonge

New apps for woodtv.com

November 28th, 2012 at 1:35 pm by under Inside WOOD TV8

WOODTV.com has provided news, weather and information to you through mobile apps since 2009. Over the years, we’ve released several upgrades to our mobile apps to help support new devices and their new features.

As part of a continuous drive to provide our viewers with the most innovative news coverage across all devices, we’ve significantly upgraded our apps in the last few days to take advantage of exciting new features of mobile devices.

This also means we’re asking you to install a new app on your iPad, iPhone or Android device. To install the new WOODTV.com app, you can click through to get the iOS version or the Android version. You’ll also want to delete this current app to prevent confusion and to continue to receive the same level of coverage you’ve counted on from WOODTV.com.

Some Frequently Asked Questions
Where are the school closings? These will appear when closings are in effect. When that happens a big red alert symbol will appear at the top of ever page. You can tap the alert symbol to see the closings. Additionally, you can find the alerts by going to the Weather section in the Menu.

Where are the weather alerts? Just like school closings, the weather alerts appear when in effect. The big red alert symbol will appear at the top of every page when this happens.

Where is the back button? In the upper-right corner of every story page is a grey triangle that can be tapped to go back. In future releases, a back button will be added to the bottom of the page.

Why is the Menu button so small? It appears to be smaller than it is. You can tap the WOOD logo to activate the menu.

Why are we changing?
The app you are currently using is being discontinued in favor of a new app from WOODTV.com. To continue receiving all the news, information, weather alerts, closings and more delivered right to your device, we are requiring users of our older apps to install a new one. This means users of our tablet, smartphone and mobile apps will now receive the same features simultaneously with each new release.

Why can’t I continue to use the current app?
WOODTV.com strives to provide the latest technologies and take advantage of the latest features of cell phones, smartphones, tablets and eReaders—all in a single app that works across all devices. Unfortunately, the app you are using is incompatible with this goal. It is being disabled and will no longer receive new updates and news from WOODTV.

What do I need to do?
You’ll need to install our new app on your device. To install the new WOODTV.com app, you can click through to get the iOS version or the Android version. You’ll also want to make sure you delete this current app from your phone or tablet to prevent confusion so that you can continue to receive the same level of coverage you’ve counted on from WOODTV.com.

What’s new about this app?
We’ve listened to our viewers, and added the features that prepare you for your day—by providing up to the minute weather alerts, closings, and news alerts—all in the palm of your hand. Some features and improvements include:
Easier to use: We’ve improved every aspect of the new app—from the navigation to the display of stories. Larger images and headlines, one-click video, succinct and easier navigation and easier-to-find related stories.
An improved weather experience: Our new and improved interactive radar provides FutureCast, animated radars, tons of additional overlays (including snow totals, rain totals and temperature forecasts); an improved forecast page and nearly instant severe weather alerts to keep you and your family safe.
A more robust app: We’ve introduced lots of new features, such as live streaming, breaking news alerts and an improved weather experience. Not only have we introduced new features, we’ve upgraded our app to allow us to add new features without having to upgrade your app.
ReportIt! integration: Now you can submit photos, videos and news tips directly through the app. Now, when you snap a photo of a weather or news event, it’s even easier to send in your news directly to our staff.

WOODTV.com debuts new iPad

December 31st, 2011 at 1:01 pm by under Bill's Blog, Inside WOOD TV8, News

Continuing to build upon its suite of digital offerings, WOOD TV has announced its new and enhanced iPad app that combines its award-winning local news, weather, sports and video in a user-friendly experience that is customized and optimized for the iPad.

The app is free of charge. You can easily download the new app by going to iTunes on your computer in the App store on your iPad and searching for “woodtv”. Our new app is called WOOD TV8 for iPad. You can also click here to open a page with a direct link.

Highlights of WOOD TV8 Version 2.0 iPad app include:

•        Immediate access to stories and blogs published in real-time from WOOD TV8’s digital content centers. Comments on blogs are fully functional.
•        Breaking news alerts to help you stay informed even when the app is closed
•        Enhanced video presentation in one easy-to-navigate, comprehensive catalog
•        Interactive weather maps and forecasts designed for consistency on all media platforms
•        New “Report It” functionality that leverages iPad’s built-in features, allowing you to easily send and share news, photos and videos

“We are pleased to continue our tradition of bringing innovative products to market and making it more convenient for users to access our superior local content on the most popular electronic devices,” said Diane Kniowski, General Manager, WOOD TV, WOTV, WXSP TV. “Our new iPad app was thoughtfully designed to deliver a best-in-class user experience and be the preferred local news app in West Michigan.”

In October 2010, WOOD TV8 launched its first generation iPad app into the emerging tablet space. Since the launch of the iPad 2, WOOD TV8 has been perfecting its technology to take advantage of the tablet’s increased processing power, photo and video enhancements and new graphics engine.

More features:

  • Navigate easily through local news and information that’s important to you
  • Stay informed of breaking news with 24 Hour News 8 alerts
  • View local news videos embedded within stories or at full screen
  • Understand how weather will affect you with local forecasts, radar, alerts and video
  • Stay up-to-date on school closings and severe weather
  • Help shape local coverage by submitting photos and videos through Report It
  • Easily share interesting articles via e-mail, Facebook(R) and Twitter(TM)

Almanac data now on woodtv.com

April 11th, 2011 at 9:13 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

This morning we are debuting a new weather page on woodtv.com, an Almanac for Grand Rapids and Muskegon.

On the Almanac you will find the high and low temps for today and yesterday, plus data on average temperatures, precipitation and snowfall.

The information comes to us from the National Weather Service reporting stations at Ford Intl. Airport in Grand Rapids and the Muskegon County Airport. The data is generally updated twice a day by the NWS to reflect data collection from yesterday and today.

This has been one of the most commonly requested feature on our site for a very long time. The easiest way to find the page is to use our global navigation of Weather > Almanac.

Bill’s Blog is back up

October 26th, 2010 at 12:58 pm by under Bill's Blog, Inside WOOD TV8, Weather

Afternoon all,

Due to extreme website traffic earlier today, we needed to re-direct traffic from Bill’s Blog to an instance of CoverItLive.

We’re investigating ways to boost the capacity for the blog, but until then, we may need to fall back on CoverItLive to handle all the traffic.

Thanks for your patience and participation.

SMS Text Alerts on woodtv.com

December 2nd, 2009 at 11:30 am by under Inside WOOD TV8

As of this morning, we now have SMS Text Alerts available on woodtv.com. Included are weather alerts, school closings, forecasts and more. Here is the link to sign up: http://www.woodtv.com/subindex/about_us/text_alerts

This change affects all the people who previously signed up to have cell phone text messages sent for Weather Warn or School Closings. In these cases, the cell phone numbers and accounts have been moved to the new SMS Text Alerts system. These people should continue to get the same alerts as before. The difference is that they will need to make changes through the SMS Text Alerts page. (more…)

New on woodtv.com: Real Estate, Obits, Photos

November 25th, 2009 at 11:34 am by under Inside WOOD TV8

Some of the features people have been asking us to provide are now online.

Real Estate – Courtesy of a partnership with industry-leading Trulia, you can find homes for sale in Grand Rapids and all of West Michigan. In fact, you can even search for homes across the whole U.S.  There are some neat ways to sort your search for foreclosures and specific neighborhoods.

This section can always be found in our main navigation by going to Marketplace > Real Estate.

Obituaries – Courtesy of Tributes, our obits focus on all of West Michigan yet cover the entire U.S. It includes opportunities for you to post tributes to your own loved ones.

This section can always be found in our main navigation by going to News > Obituaries.

Week in Photos – Check out some of the interesting photos of the week in the constantly updated feature. You’ll see photos from national, international and sports stories.

This section can be found in our main navigation by going to News > Week in Photos.

Face of 4 – Voting ends soon, so check out the great videos of our Face of 4 contestants on wotv.com.

WOOD TV is on Facebook, iPhone and more

June 5th, 2009 at 10:59 am by under Inside WOOD TV8

We wanted to let you know about some new ways you can stay connected and interact with WOOD TV8 and 24 Hour News 8.

Download the woodtv iPhone app in iTunes

Download the woodtv iPhone app in iTunes

Our staff is actively engaged on Facebook in three different locations. Become a fan to interact directly with them. Our Facebook pages: WOOD TV8DaybreakMaranda Park Parties

Many of the personalities on 24 Hour News 8 are on Twitter. Connect directly with them on Twitter or see their latest tweets aggregated here.

WOOD TV8 iPhone App
Our free app is designed specifically for the iPhone, so you’ll get crisp radar images, smooth news video and easy navigation between content sections. You can even customize the menu. In the iTunes store search for “woodtv”. Learn more about the iPhone app and download it here.

Our longtime popular wireless site delivers a ton of free info on news, weather, traffic, and much more.
Type www.live8.com into your wireless device or learn more about Live8 here.

News Over Wireless
Another free wireless site we maintain. You can get there by going to woodtv.com on your mobile device. Preview it on your computer here.

Introducing IntenseDebate for Commenting

April 22nd, 2009 at 11:27 am by under Inside WOOD TV8

For quite some time now we’ve used Topix.net to power our commenting system.  While Topix provided us an easy-to-use platform, it took users away from the story they were talking about.

So after a long search we have decided to make the switch to IntenseDebate.  IntenseDebate is a commenting system that supports WordPress and several other blogs.  It also has many features that makes it easier for us to administer.

The million dollar question is… Do I have to register?

For now, the answer is no.  But we encourage users to register and log in when posting comments.  If you have a WordPress.com account, OpenID or IntenseDebate account, you can use that profile to comment on WOODTV.com.  That way you can include your avatar.  To register, check the register button the first time you post a comment.

More news and weather on woodtv.com

April 17th, 2009 at 11:41 am by under Inside WOOD TV8

In the past month we’ve built out many new content areas for you to find the news stories and weather conditions for Michigan.

On the news front, you’ll see where we’ve categorized the state of Michigan into 15 different areas so you can quickly find the stories that are relevant to you.

You can find the Local News section by using our main navigation of News > Local. On our homepage, you’ll find highlights of these sections for Grand Rapids and Kent County.

Some of the nice features of these new areas include relevant weather conditions, local event listings, and aggregated news content for that area. The Grand Rapids section is a good example, but don’t miss out on Kent County, Ottawa County, Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, the Gun Lake region, and others covering the entire state.

In the weather section, we’ve expanded our forecasts and conditions to include five other regions of the state of Michigan. So, when you are travelling to Northern Michigan for the weekend or Detroit for business, you can find the weather conditions at woodtv.com.

Site changes you requested

November 9th, 2008 at 10:18 pm by under Inside WOOD TV8

Once again, thanks for all your feedback regarding the new site redesign.

Based on your feedback, we’ve made several changes to the home page.

1. We’ve replaced the thumbnails of video stories with the text of the latest 10 local news stories.

2. The day planner graphic has reappeared.

3. A link to Bill’s Blog is directly below the day planner graphic.