Handmark Acquires FreeRange Communications to Expand Mobile Media Offerings

February 4th, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO and PORTLAND, OR— (Feb. 5, 2009) — Handmark® and FreeRange Communications today announced the companies have signed a definitive agreement, under which Handmark will acquire FreeRange Communications, a privately held mobile technology company.

FreeRange Communications, based in Portland, Oregon, is a strategic addition to the Handmark portfolio of mobile offerings. The company offers a unique mobile publishing platform that enables media companies and content publishers around the world to create their own branded, always-on mobile applications. These mobile applications provide a unique expansion opportunity for content providers that is simple and fast to bring to market. Some of its key partners leveraging this technology include The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, CBS, Travelocity Business, The New York Knicks, Portland TrailBlazers, NewsGator, PaidContent, and Fierce Markets.

Handmark will build upon FreeRange Communications’ relationships with media companies and content publishers by expanding its mobile publishing platform technology. In addition, FreeRange Communications’ RSS web reading capabilities offer various opportunities for Handmark to enhance its mobile offerings.

“This partnership is fantastic news for media companies, wireless carriers, and handset providers looking to establish a mobile presence or enhance their products and services with compelling mobile content,” said Paul Reddick, Handmark CEO. “FreeRange brings unique technology, expertise, and relationships that complement our position as a leading provider of mobile media solutions.”

“This is an exciting turning point for our company and we are proud to become part of the Handmark organization,” said Jon Maroney, FreeRange CEO. “Handmark has built a large network of happy customers across a wide range of mobile devices. This offers a great opportunity for FreeRange partners to expand their reach, adding tremendous value to content delivered via our publishing platform.”

This Handmark acquisition follows the company’s February 2008 purchase of Astraware, a leading UK-based mobile gaming company.

The acquisition is expected to close in the coming weeks, pending shareholder approvals. Financial terms were not disclosed.

About Handmark

Handmark is a leading provider of entertainment, information and productivity applications for mobile phones. The company offers a comprehensive range of mobile media solutions for consumers, as well as businesses looking to expand their reach by offering compelling mobile content and services across a wide range of mobile operating systems and handsets. Handmark has been recognized for its mobile development expertise and management of a variety of desktop and on-device mobile stores full of the industry’s best games, applications and ringtones. Pocket Express®, the company’s flagship news and information service is a fast, simple, free alternative to traditional mobile browsing offering instant access to up to the minute news, sports, weather, travel information and more.

About FreeRange Communications

FreeRange Communications is a mobile technology company with a mobile publishing platform that enables media companies and content publishers to create branded, always-on channels on the mobile handset, make content available on demand to mobile subscribers and increase revenues with mobile advertising and marketing. Founded in 2004, FreeRange Communications is privately held and based in Portland, Ore. More information can be found at www.freerangeinc.com.

© 2009 Handmark, Inc.; Handmark®, Pocket Express®, Astraware®, and the distinctive hand design are registered trademarks of Handmark, Inc. in the U.S. and other territories. All rights reserved. All other trademarks belong to their respective owners.

PC World - Best Free Download is FreeRange

March 24th, 2008

PC World just did their 101 Fantastic Freebie’s list, not only including FreeRange in the list but choosing it as Best Download !

See the whole article here:

PC World - 101 Fantastic Freebies

FreeReader Brings the News to Your Mobile Device
“With scores of free programs now available on the Web, an application has to have more than just good looks to get the nod for our favorite shareware product. Our winner brings your news to places other free news readers can’t.”

FreeRange FreeReader brings the speed and convenience of RSS feeds to a wide array of mobile phones. Install this clean and fast feed reader, and the fun little games on your phone will soon suffer from neglect as you instead go straight for all the latest news reports from your favorite sources….”

ContentNext Chooses FreeRange to mobilize paidContent and mocoNews

February 28th, 2008

We’re pleased to announce a partnership today with ContentNext to mobilize their great sites - mocoNews and paidContent. If you are in the mobile or publishing industry, you’ll want to get these for your phone. MocoNews can be downloaded from your phone’s browser from http://moco.mwap.at and paidContent is be downloaded from http://paid.mwap.at

The press release announcing our partnership is below and the announcement on mocoNews site is here

Date: 2/28/08
Portland, OR - FreeRange Communications, a mobile technology solutions and services company, has been chosen by ContentNext to design and deliver mobile versions of their popular paidContent and mocoNews websites. Using the FreeRange Mobile Publishing Platform, readers of ContentNext sites can now have all the latest news, updates and commentary delivered automatically to their mobile devices in a direct channel format.
“The FreeRange platform gives our readers the latest breaking news with an attractive interface and quick load time,” said Ted Rupp, Director of Business Development at ContentNext. “FreeRange app’s vastly improve the mobile web experience, and provide an excellent outlet for sponsors as well.”
Using the FreeRange Mobile Publishing Platform, ContentNext is now offering downloadable mobile channels for mocoNews and paidContent. Subscribers can download these applications to their Blackberry, Windows Mobile or other mobile devices with a data connection. By clicking on the mocoNews or paidContent icon on their phone, subscribers get all the latest news and updates immediately available. The applications update themselves in the background while running on the phone, ensuring that all the latest news is immediately available to subscribers, even when the subscriber is outside of mobile coverage. In addition to the website content, the application delivers targeted advertising and sponsorships within the branded mobile channels.

“paidContent and mocoNews are daily ‘must reads’ for me and anyone else in the mobile world or new media technology M&A business, and we’re excited to provide a way to extend this valuable content to the mobile marketplace,” said Jon Maroney, CEO of FreeRange Communications.
From a mobile phone browser, download paidContent from http://paid.mwap.at or mocoNews from http://moco.mwap.at
Or visit either site from the internet from http://www.contentnext.com
About FreeRange Communications
FreeRange Communications enables media companies and consumer brands to deliver their content and advertising to mobile phones in a way that is fast and easy to read. The FreeRange Mobile Publishing Platform allows publishers to have mobile widgets that work on nearly all mobile phones, extending their business models and content to mobile phone screens around the world. The FreeRange Platform powers a wide variety of mobile widgets, including those delivered by Portland TrailBlazers, VersionTracker, Travelocity Business, NewsGator Go!, and MobHappy. Mobilize your publication today by contacting Brad McMahon at +1 503 445-4010 or emailing bizdev@freerangeinc.com .

WebReader in the Chicago Tribune

February 20th, 2008

Steve Johnson of the Chicago Tribune wrote a nice column on the value he’s found in FreeRange during his commute.

Check it out here:

Getting the most out of your hand-held

Trail Blazers, FreeRange Partnership - Means Instant Access to Breaking Team News

January 14th, 2008

Deal to bring up-to-the-minute Trail Blazers info to mobile phones

PORTLAND,Ore. The Portland Trail Blazers today announced a new way for fans to get the latest news and information on the team via their mobile phone or other handheld device.

Trail Blazers Mobile gives fans instant access to news, special offers and Trailblazers.com content such as Mike Barrett’s blog and Greg Oden’s rehab update, delivered directly to their mobile device. The application, developed in partnership with Portland-based FreeRange Communications using FreeRange’s Mobile Marketing Platform, is available immediately.

“Nearly all our fans have mobile phones today, and many have Smartphones,” said Trail Blazers Vice President and CIO, Chris Dill, “This mobile widget allows our fans to get their fix of Trail Blazers news wherever and whenever they want. I was addicted to this technology as soon as I tried it, and it’s great that it’s built by a company here in Portland.”

Fans can log onto trailblazers.com, visit the for fans page, find the mobile news button and download the application to their mobile phone.

Trail Blazers Mobile is a stand alone mobile widget that runs on Smartphones, automatically delivering the same news, blogs and scores that appear on the Internet directly to mobile phone. Because it doesn’t use the mobile phone’s browser, there is no waiting for pages to load, which on many mobile phones is prohibitively slow. The mobile application runs on Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and Symbian Smartphones. For fans without Smartphones, the same information is available via a mobile WAP site from any web enabled phone by pointing the phone browser to: http://m.trailblazersmobile.com.

FreeRange Communications (http://www.freerangeinc.com), a Portland-based company, enables media companies and consumer brands to deliver their content to mobile phones in a way that is fast and easy to read. The FreeRange Mobile Publishing Platform allows publishers to have stand alone mobile applications and widgets that work on nearly all mobile phones, extending their business models and content to mobile phone screens around the world. The FreeRange Platform powers a wide variety of mobile widgets, including those delivered by Portland Trail Blazers, VersionTracker, Travelocity Business, NewsGator Go! and MobHappy.

- trailblazers.com -

BBGeeks - Great Review of WebReader for Blackberry

December 11th, 2007

Another Great Review of FreeRange WebReader on Blackberry is available at BBGeeks . It’s great that more and more people are seeing the value of mobile RSS and how it can change how they use their Blackberry’s.

Their final opinion: “Overall, I believe the FreeNews reader will be a valuable asset to any BlackBerry owner. The installation process is straight forward, information is handled efficiently on all levels, advanced flight mode options provide extended functionality and image viewing is a breeze.

I would reccomend this RSS/Feed reader to all BlackBerry owners, particularly those who are offline for extended periods of time, whether in the air, flying the friendly skies, or underground riding the tubes.”

FreeRange on Symbian

November 29th, 2007

Ewan Spence did a great round up of RSS Reader for Symbian phones at All About Symbian, and he liked FreeRange on his Nokia N95!

Announcing FreeRange WebReader

May 30th, 2007

FreeRange WebReader

FreeRange is very pleased to announce the final release of our latest product, FreeRange WebReader. The goal of WebReader is simple - to do for Internet content what Blackberry did for email. WebReader brings the Internet to your fingertips, giving you access to the websites you want, wherever you happen to be, and without making you wait.

Download and try FreeRange WebReader today from http://mwap.at

If you’ve used FreeNews in the past, we think you’ll love WebReader! Some of the new features include image support, link and full browser support, background updating, better feed management from on the phone, and tremendous overall speed increases. WebReader replaces FreeNews completely, and we hope you’ll find it much more useful. Simply download the new version and enter your FreeNews user name and password to get started.

If you’ve been helping us test WebReader (code-named Fontis) - THANK YOU! You’ve helped us create an amazing product. Make sure that you get the latest version to experience the full speed increases.

As always, we love feedback. Let us know what you think at info@freerangeinc.com

NewsGator goes Mobile!

March 26th, 2007

Newsgator has begun shipping their latest products for mobile phones, NewsGator Go! for Blackberry and NewsGator Go! for Java . What is great about these products is that they answer the top feature request from our existing users - the ability to synch mobile phone with desktop and web based RSS reading.

These products were developed jointly by FreeRange and NewsGator. As NewsGator is the leader in the consumer RSS reading space with their great NetNewsWire and FeedDemon products, we were very excited to be selected by NewsGator to be their development partner in these products. Our sense has always been that we want to partner with companies that have market leading technology to bring their benefits to mobile phones, and NewsGator Go! is a great example of this.

Both products have free trial versions, so if you’re using one of NewsGator’s desktop or Online apps, give the mobile version a try! Be sure to let us know what you think! - JM

FreeRange Website

March 22nd, 2007

If you came to our site yesterday, you noticed that the site was missing and all emails to anyone at freerange bounced. This was due to our host provider ‘upgrading’ our server, which resulted in them bringing down our server completely and indefinitely. We decided to do our own “upgrade” to a new host provider, and now have our site back up and running. We’re very sorry for any inconvenience!

The FreeRange service is actually run on our own servers so was not affected by this event.