What’s new with OldNews? There is a lot to talk about, including the upcoming launch of OldNews USA for iOS. There is also a new version of OldNews USA for Android, and updates to the newspaper content at Chronicling America. And don’t miss the limited-time RootsTech 2018 special offer!
OldNews USA for iOS
The iOS version of the OldNews USA app is nearly finished! I plan to launch the app in April 2018. If you are an iPhone user and are interested in being a beta tester, please contact me.
You might wonder why it has taken me so long to release an iOS app when the Android app already exists. The main reason is that the code for both platforms is completely different. Android and iOS apps are written in different languages, use different libraries and tools, and have different user interface styles. OldNews USA is not a trivial app, so there is much to learn and do to rewrite the app.
I am also implementing the app using a new technology called React-Native, which will let me support additional platforms without another total rewrite. Many users asked me for a Windows desktop version of the app after RootsTech 2017, so using this technology will make a Windows app possible. Unlike some other cross-platform technologies, React-Native uses components that are native to each platform, so as a user you won’t know the difference. But as a developer, I’ll be able to support all of the platforms with a single codebase and avoid lengthy rewrites.
New Release of OldNews USA for Android
I am also continuing to enhance and maintain the Android version of OldNews USA while I work on the iOS version. The latest version of OldNews USA, version 4.0, was released on February 23. The new version has improved search suggestions, better support for Android O (Oreo), an updated newspaper database with the latest titles from Chronicling America, and some bug fixes.
Over the past year, I released 9 new versions of OldNews USA for Android. I added support for Chromebook, numerous new features, and support for all of the newly added newspaper pages at Chronicling America. I also had to release a mandatory update when Chronicling America changed their site to use https instead of http.
New Content at Chronicling America
The amount of newspaper titles and searchable pages continues to grow at Chronicling America. There are currently 2557 digitized newspaper titles available, with a total of more than 12.7 million pages. Also, the site has added many newer newspapers over the past year. A year ago, Chronicling America did not have any newspapers published before 1923. However, during the past year, the site has added some new titles which have issues published in the 1930s through the 1960s:
- Maryland Independent, Port Tobacco, MD, 1589 issues, 09/16/1874 – 12/07/1934
- The Voice, Cumberland, MD, 1 issue, 11/17/1938
- The Voice of Labor, Cumberland, MD, 78 issues, 12/01/1938 – 07/30/1942
- Greenbelt Cooperator, Greenbelt, MD, 236 issues, 11/24/1937 – 03/12/1943
- The Midland Journal, Rising Sun, MD, 3203 issues, 08/07/1885 – 12/27/1946
- Detroit Tribune, Detroit, MI, 37 issues, 04/14/1933 – 12/23/1933
- The Detroit Tribune, Detroit, MI, 1450 issues, 09/14/1935 – 12/28/1963
- The Independent, Elizabeth City, NC, 936 issues, 01/10/1919 – 09/04/1936
- The Daily Independent, Elizabeth City, NC, 295 issues, 08/31/1936 – 08/13/1937
- Henderson Daily Dispatch, Henderson, NC, 1004, 01/01/1940 – 06/30/1944
- Jednośc Polek (Unity of Polish women), Cleveland, OH, 397 issues, 07/19/1923 – 09/08/1931
- Ohio Waisenfreund, Pomeroy, OH, 764 issues, 02/18/1874 – 08/22/1953
Finally, I will be attending the RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City next week. I would love to meet some OldNews USA users to get feedback and ideas for new features. I’ll also have some promo codes for OldNews USA to give away, so if you see me, please stop and say hello.
Regardless of whether you are at #RootsTech or #NotAtRootsTech, you can take advantage of our RootsTech 2018 special. Save 50% on the cost of the one-time premium upgrade which allows unlimited use of OldNews USA, now only $1.99. But hurry, this promotion ends March 3 2018