CNN's iPhone App Lets Everyone Be A Reporter - InformationWeek

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09:55 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren

CNN's iPhone App Lets Everyone Be A Reporter

Today CNN took its commitment to mobile news a bit further by releasing a dedicated application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. For the news junkie, consider this new app to be your constantly available source for a fix. There's increased opportunities for the budding iReporter, too.

Today CNN took its commitment to mobile news a bit further by releasing a dedicated application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. For the news junkie, consider this new app to be your constantly available source for a fix. There's increased opportunities for the budding iReporter, too.Everyone has their favorite source for breaking news and headlines. If CNN is your bag, then I'd seriously consider this new application being offered by the news network. The application offers all the daily news you'd care to consume and pushes it via text, photos and even video. Live, breaking news alerts can be pushed directly to the iPhone so users are always abreast of the most up-to-date information. Here are the key features:

Latest Headlines:

  • Easy to navigate - Users can easily flick through news stories across categories including Top Stories, World, U.S., Politics, Crime, Entertainment, Health, Travel, Tech and Living. Additionally, when the device is rotated horizontally, stories can be flipped through quickly.
  • Easy to consume - Each story features bulleted highlights above the full article, designed to satisfy mobile "snackers," allowing them to easily scan through the latest stories, as well as meet the needs of users who want the whole story.
  • Easy to share - Users can share stories via email, SMS and Twitter, as well as Facebook Connect by posting a story directly to their wall.
  • Easy to view - White text on black background providing excellent viewing experience
  • For the first time on a mobile device, the CNN App provides a direct gateway to, allowing users to browse user-generated content; register, sign-in to their account or sign on as a guest to capture and instantly upload user-generated photos and videos (with the iPhone 3GS). Users also can browse's latest "assignments," asking the community to weigh in on local and national news stories.
  • Local news, weather and traffic based on user's actual location or the ability to select a specific location.
  • Ability to "follow" a story or topic: As CNN publishes breaking news alerts or new stories related to a chosen topic, the app will automatically push the updates to the device.
  • "Saved" content functionality, which enables users to access text stories that interest them anytime, anywhere - even when they're offline.
  • Live streaming video - Provides users with access to live streaming video directly from Live, the Internet's only live multi-stream video news service.
  • On-demand - The App provides access to an extensive selection of on-demand video clips across many categories, including Latest News, Most Popular, On TV, U.S., World, Entertainment, Tech, Offbeat, Politics and Health.
My favorite aspect of this new application is the iReport possibilities. As citizen journalism becomes more popular, this feature of the CNN iPhone application gives those serious about it a better platform. Users can log-in to their iReport accounts or send in breaking events as a guest. CNN said that of the three or four thousand reports submitted every few days, maybe a 100 or so make it to the site. Sometimes, CNN's reporters will use iReport stories to bolster or source their own material about important events.

The video is also a nice touch. The application streams video to the native iPhone media player. I noticed little lag. The one disappointing thing is that video won't cache for off-line consumption, though news stories and photos will.

In the short time I've played with the application, I've found it to be quick, visually appealing, and the customization features really allow users to feed on the news that's most important to them.

The application costs $2 and is available from the iPhone Apps Store starting today.

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