Is that a newsstand in your pocket, or are you just happy to read me?

 In Apps

It can be difficult staying on top of the latest entertainment industry news, especially when most reporters consider Ashlee Simpson’s newest hairstyle to headline worthy.

I’m talking about REAL industry news. Like the fact that Paranormal Activity beat SAW VI at the box office… or that Warner Brothers’ Southland may be sold to TNT… or that Ashlee Simpson has a new hairstyle (I guess there really is no escaping Ashlee Simpson).

If you’re looking for REAL entertainment news, grab your iPhone, and follow us!

VARIETY 

Variety has been covering the biz since it was founded in 1905… yes, there was a biz in 1905. Even with this rich legacy, it took them over 100 years to develop an app for the iPhone. Seriously, what the hell took so long?

The Variety iPhone App is FREE (ad supported), and provides quick and easy access to the day’s biggest stories. It also delivers reviews, photos, and videos. But, the coolest feature is the ability to search Variety’s online database — great when doing research before stepping into a meeting. The app is mighty cool, but it’s a bit buggy, and doesn’t offer nearly as wide a scope as the Variety.com website.

For those with a mobile device other than an iPhone (you are not of the body), you can access a mobile version of Variety at http://mobile.variety.com

But wait, there’s more.

If you want access to a lot more information, you can subscribe to any of Variety’s 60+ RSS feeds. They’ve broken everything down by topic, author, region, and more. It’s an insane amount of granularity, perfect for customizing what news you get. All the feeds are listed here.

If you don’t know about RSS, you can read more about it at Wikipedia. If you’re looking for a good RSS iPhone client, check out the “RSS READERS” section below.

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

The Reporter is the other big player in entertainment news. They’ve only been around since the 30’s, so naturally, they’re still developing their iPhone app. Hopefully we’ll see something around 2025.

But until then, you can access their very capable, iPhone-friendly website at http://mobile.thr.com

Like Variety, The Reporter has its own list of RSS Feeds. However, they offer significantly fewer options. Their feeds can be found here.

You can also sign up for Hollywood Reporter Mobile Alerts.

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Ok, so sometimes you actually want the empty calories of candy-colored ‘news.’ Not a problem. Here’s two free options. I won’t bother explaining them… since I’ll just get a headache.

Entertainment Tonight App (Free) by

E! Online App (Free)

RSS READERS

As I mentioned, both Variety and Hollywood reporter offer RSS feeds. Using a simple RSS client on your iPhone, you can feast at the all-you-can-read grill. Here’s three RSS clients to get you started.

Newsstand ($4.99)

This is our personal fave. It has a very easy to use interface. It allows offline reading of most content, and has a built-in mini web browser (so you don’t have to leave the app while looking at a linked web page). It has a feed directory, and multiple themes. It will sync with your Google Reader account, if you have one. And for all you twitter fans out there, you can share an article with the built-in twitter client. The only drag is it can be a little slow to download at times. Newsstand is published by omz:software.

 

Byline ($4.99)

This is another terrific app. You’re presented with a clean interface that allows you to sort by date or feed. It can cache 200 articles for offline reading. It has a built-in web browser, and 2-way synch with Google Reader. You can email links, and share notes. I’ve experienced a few freezes and display glitches, but they’re rare. Byline is published by Phantom Fish.

 

Google Reader Web App (Free)

For those who’d rather deal with the limitations of a web-app vs. paying for an iPhone app, check out the mobile version of Google Reader. It’s actually quite usable, but it lacks the bells and whistles you’ve come to expect from an iPhone experience.  Just fire up your mobile web browser, and cruise over to http://m.google.com/reader

No matter how you get your news, just remember that information is power. So think of HHH as your key to the executive washroom.

Got other sources of Entertainment Industry news? Let’s hear about ’em in the comments!

 

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  • I read the print edition of the Los Angeles Times at the breakfast table. It covered all the stories you mentioned, and it took only a moment to read them all. That leaves me time to post meaningful and dare I say trenchant comments like this one all over the internets, or trim the bouganvillea in the garden or — gasp! — both!

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