I have the basic news apps on my iPhone: AP, the New York Times, NPR, even the Wall Street Journal. I’ve had the CNN site bookmarked on my phone until today. I deleted it after purchasing CNN’s new mobile app for the iPhone. It’s the best news site application I’ve seen to date–complete awesomeness!
The app only costs $1.99. As a friend of mine pointed out, however, you still have to suffer with advertisements on the paid application. Sad. But at least I don’t find it nearly as intrusive as CNN.com’s video ads before every video. [By the way, I’ve found a way around that!] On the iPhone app you only get a still image ad while the video loads. And I’m delighted you can watch live newscasts and video over WiFi, 3G, and Edge! (It’s about time, AT&T!)
Turning the phone horizontally gives a very nice coverflow slideshow for news events and videos all based on category. Touch the picture to flip the image and reveal the barebones basics of the story with a link to watch or read if you desire.
My CNN provides immediate access to news, weather, and traffic based on your physical location and on any locations you setup to monitor. The news stories link to local media.
iReport, shown at the bottom of this post, is probably my favorite, not because of the content, but because of the concept. In this section you can view featured iReport articles or video. But what is really impressive: Submit. The user can submit photos or video right from the iPhone. So if you find yourself in the middle of a news-worthy event, you can shoot it and upload it to iReport on the spot. Very slick! CNN even offers some suggested assignments for iReporters.
Sharing and following news stories and topics is easy. When you choose to follow a topic, that topic is loaded into your “My CNN.” Topics, naturally, are broader than individual stories. For example: I touched “Follow” on a story about Iran’s nuclear program. Four stories, all related to Iran, appeared in “My CNN.” You can also share news and iReports via Text Message, Email, Twitter, and Facebook. I’m not sure if selecting “Save for later” will allow you to read the story offline when you have no access–like on an airplane. Now, that would be very nice!
Other nifty little features remain undiscussed. I like the new CNN app, a lot. The designers did a great and thoughtful job.