Coastal Point • Illustration: The new version of Explore Coastal Delaware includes instant access to the Coastal Point newspaper, tides and more.Those of you who have already downloaded our Explore Coastal Delaware app got a major update in the last week or so — one that not only enhances the existing content in the app but offers a tremendous amount of additional up-to-the-minute information on the happenings in South Coastal Delaware.

Coastal Point newspaper is now built right into the Explore Coastal Delaware app!

That's right — rather than having to navigate to our website in your mobile browser, now you can just tap on the Explore Coastal Delaware app, and the first thing you'll see listed is “Coastal Point.” We've divided the newspaper content into News, Opinion, Sports, Weather & Tides and the ever-popular Yard Sales.

In each category, you'll see a listing of our latest headlines, so you can pick and choose what you want to read first, and everything loads smoothly inside the app, where you can zoom in or out, rotate the screen, follow links and even open that page in your regular browser to use the enhanced features of your OS, such as sharing.

When we first released the Explore Coastal Delaware app in 2014, our focus was on providing a fun and useful app that would offer information for the area's many visitors, alongside features that would encourage local residents to visit a business they hadn't been to before and help them find some pretty great deals in the process.

The location-aware app could show you what was near you, let you browse businesses by category and offer you directions to a place you might have missed in the past. It still does all that — and more!

In our new version of Explore Coastal Delaware, we've reorganized our categories, expanding where needed, relabeling to make things even easier to find and dropping redundancies. You'll now find (right below Coastal Point) Where to Eat, Where to Shop, Where to Play, Where to Stay, What to Do, At Your Service and Real Estate, along with a Today's Deals feature in the bottom right corner.

We've enhanced our informational sections on libraries, parks, trails and local municipalities, and added more photographs and details for businesses, churches, parks and more. We've also added new features, such as Food Specials, which will give you an idea of where you might like to go to eat on a given night, based on any special offerings, and a Nightlife section for the entertainers who appear at our local bars and restaurants each week.

Our Events section contains updated calendars for local entertainment venues, the big events people look forward to each year and now our Coastal Point Calendar of Events, which lists everything from bingo and ballroom dancing to fundraisers and films on the beach.

That integration of the Coastal Point is the thing we're really proud of in this new version. Our staff always wanted to offer the convenience of having the newspaper content available in an app, but we put our toe in the water with an initial focus on all of our great local businesses, natural resources and towns.

Once we felt we'd gotten that established, we realized that there was no better way to bring the Coastal Point's award-winning reporting and photography to our readers than to put it right inside the app many of you already have on your smartphones and tablets.

There's no separate app to download, no additional permissions to grant, no additional space taken up on a phone that may be filled with great photographs you might want to use in the app's built-in postcard maker! And you'll have access to the same limited push notifications we've been using in Explore Coastal Delaware, which we've used (rarely) to notify users of such things as the canceling of major events due to weather. (No, we won't overload you with annoying daily notifications, and it's all opt-in!)

You can use the app to see what's on at the movies, find a dining deal and then “favorite” the restaurant so you can easily pull up directions after the movie. (Keep your phone handy when you're dining or shopping, as some of our deals offer perks exclusively for those who show their waiter or sales clerk the Explore Coastal Delaware app, such as a free dessert to go with your dinner.)

You can read a story on an upcoming public hearing, read a letter to the editor on the issue that was published in that week's edition and then go into our municipal information section to find out how to contact town hall. (And to celebrate doing your civic duty, maybe you stop for ice cream on the way home or plan some antiquing at a yard sale the next day!)

It's all built into one app now: Explore Coastal Delaware.

We have even more plans to enhance our digital presence in the not-too-distant future, but we're really delighted to now be able to offer all of our readers the chance to put the Coastal Point right in your pocket, easier to use than ever before!