thehockey news

Interview with the creators of the Android App ‘The Hockey News’

May 14, 2010 - Written By Chris Yackulic

Please tell Android users a little about yourself and ‘The Hockey News’

About Kunal Gupta

Kunal understands the transformative potential that smartphones present in enabling the mobile lifestyle for consumers. He has been a market-leader in launching innovative mobile applications with major media publishers for millions of their consumers in the rapidly changing communications landscape. As CEO of Polar Mobile, a leading mobile content solutions enabler for large media companies, Kunal leads a fast-growing team in building a next generation mobile software platform so businesses can quickly and efficiently bring to market intuitive and engaging mobile products & services that grow audiences, open new revenue streams and extend brands to the mobile marketplace.

A frequent speaker at industry events on the topics of bringing to market innovative products and services for the mobile consumer, Kunal is regarded as a rising young visionary in the mobile industry. As Founder of the Impact Entrepreneurship Group, the largest youth entrepreneurship non-profit organization in Canada for which he also serves as Chair of the Board, Kunal has been recognized for his efforts in promoting entrepreneurship to youth. He was recognized as Alumnus of the Year by Shad Valley and as a Global Citizen by the United Nations.

Kunal holds an Honours Bachelor of Software Engineering from the University of Waterloo.

About Polar Mobile

Polar Mobile is a leading Global mobile solutions provider. Polar’s content solutions (SMART & MINT) provide businesses the ability to deliver, measure and monetize digital media on all major mobile devices including BlackBerry, iPhone and Android smart phones. Polar has a proven track record in the delivery of targeted and relevant content, strong user experiences and feature-rich mobile Apps for the sports, finance, news, and entertainment verticals.

About The Hockey News

The Hockey News has been providing the most comprehensive coverage of the world of hockey since 1947. THN is published 34 times a year, including seven special issues – the Season Opener, People of Power and Influence, Future Watch, Draft Preview, Season In Review, The Best Of Everything in Hockey and the Yearbook, the #1 selling hockey annual in North America.

The Hockey News gives you…

  • The inside scoop on hockey like no other publication.
  • Interviews, photos, stats and predictions.
  • Team stories from the best writers in all 30 NHL cities.
  • Coverage of minor pro, college and junior leagues.
  • Weekly features that take you inside the game.

Tell us about The Hockey News (THN) Application?

App’s Key Features:

  • Scoreboard – the first thing you see when you open the app, easily swipe through all the NHL games happening at this moment
  • Boxscore – click into any game to view the goals and scoring summary
  • Articles – view all the latest updates from sections such as Blogs, Columns, Features, Player News, Player Movements, and Player Injuries
  • Scores/Schedule – view all the results from last night and all the upcoming games in the NHL
  • Team Standings – find out who is going to make the playoffs!
  • Player Stats – view the latest stats from the league’s top skaters and goalies

How does it differ from other Hockey News Apps?

The Hockey News covers all aspects of the game, not just the NHL, not just one team. From World Juniors, to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, THN provides the most comprehensive news, stats, scores, and standings coverage of any Hockey publication.

–          The inside scoop on hockey like no other publication.

–          Interviews, photos, stats and predictions.

–          Team stories from the best writers in all 30 NHL cities.

–          Coverage of minor pro, college and junior leagues.

–          Weekly features that take you inside the game.

How long did it take you to design The Hockey News application for Android?

The Hockey News mobile is built from Polar Mobile’s SMART platform. SMARTâ„¢ is an end-to-end fully managed and hosted software platform that enables the delivery of media & information to smart phone devices through custom-branded native applications. The platform allows for quick time to market for our customers.

THN has a great design and is very user friendly, is this one of the main focuses when you designed the application?

Polar’s strong platform focus provides customers with a sustainable and scalable mobile application solution.

There are plenty of NHL Hockey Applications on the Android Market, do you feel The Hockey News has a advantage over the other applications?

The Hockey News has been providing the most comprehensive coverage of the world of hockey since 1947.

Are there any other new features can “THN” fans look forward to coming on the app?

Polar Mobile’s Customer Support Team is continually reviewing feedback from app users and providing these suggestions to our customer, The Hockey News. The latest version of THN mobile includes this fan feedback  – more stats, more news on trades, among other additions. Expect the app to continually improve in terms of content & user experience!

What do find is the Best thing about developing for android compared to other Mobile OS’s?

“Android is a platform that is constantly iterating and innovating. Granted, other mobile platforms are developing as well but not at the same pace as Android. In the few years that Android has existed, it has quickly become a leading competitor in the market due mostly, I think, to the options and freedoms it provides to application developers.

As a developer, I can create web applications that run in the browser. Or, I can create Java applications that run on the Davlik VM. If I really need to, I can also write native code using the Native Development kit. This type of freedom allows me to deliver applications that solve my users problems in the best way possible.”

–          Scott Moynes, Developer at Polar Mobile

What would you like to see in future Android OS versions or Changes?

“I would love to see a VM with JIT-compilation optimized for mobile. Performance is a feature, especially on mobile.

Also, services to provide push notifications similar to those available to BlackBerry or Apple developers would be immensely useful.”

–          Scott Moynes, Developer at Polar Mobile

What is your opinion on the Android Market? positive and negative?

We are excited about the potential of Apps on Android – as a platform that powers devices made by HTC, Motorola, LG, Samsung and others, the opportunity for growth is huge. It was recently noted that Android powered devices are outselling iPhone’s now in the US, with Android-based phones accounting for 28% of the market, and iPhone accounting for 21% – it’s only a matter of time before the Android Market becomes as big as the App Store.

What kind of Android Phone do you use personally?

At Polar we have many Android phones, and are continually testing and evaluating our apps on the latest devices. We had the G1 as soon as it was released in the US, same story with the Nexus One.