Tokyo-based SmartNews, the startup behind curated news reader app SmartNews, launched app version 2.0 in Japan and the US on Thursday, and is available on the AppStore and GooglePlay in both countries.
The new version includes an interface for readers in the US that allows the changing of app settings to US mode so that users can to check trending news updates in the US. It also supports the iOS Widgets feature and allows users to see headlines in the Notification Center of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
The app’s US mode interface inherits user interfaces and features that Japanese users have been endorsing, but it has also rolled out improvements based on a user test in the US. Upon the launch in the US, SmartNews has partnered with several US-based news media such as Re/Code, The Verge, and Quarz. They aim to partner with more media companies in the US.
SmartNews fundraised 35 million yen in August, and subsequently appointed former Conde Nast business development director Bernie Davis as media partner relation head, former Williamson-Dickie Japan vice president Yohei Matsuoka as marketing head, and former Huffington Post Japan editor-in-chief Shigeki Matsuura as media communication director.