Update: The CNN iPhone App is now in the app store. Download it here [iTunes link].
A little over a month ago, we reviewed the NPR News iPhone App. We raved about its radio integration and personalization options, so much that we definitively declared that “NPR’s iPhone app blows other news apps out of the water.”
We may have spoken too soon, because that declaration was before the CNN iPhone App.
The CNN iPhone App, which is now live in the app store [iTunes link], is nothing short of impressive. It combines breaking news with customization, the ability to save stories, streaming video whenever breaking news is in progress, and most intriguing of all, citizen journalism.
CNN’s iPhone App: It’s Impressive
The CNN iPhone app is divided into four key (but very different) components, combining for one seamless app experience. Here’s what you can expect if you download the $1.99 app:
Headlines: It’s the core of any news app – being able to read breaking news. You can sift through news by recency and by category (crime, politics, health, etc). And since it’s CNN, you can also share stories via Facebook Connect, Twitter, SMS, and email.
Oh, one more cool thing about headlines: if you turn your iPhone on the side, you can view stories like you can your iPod album covers. Flick through images to find the story that interests you. It’s a uniquely visual way to consume news.
My CNN: The app is chock-full of personalization options. Our favorite is the ability to “save” stories you want to read later. You don’t even need a connection to read saved stories, so you pick out the news you want and read it on the plane without a problem.
Another nifty feature: you can “follow” topics or stories that interest you and get alerts when there are updates to that story.
Video: Yeah, this app gets even better. It is CNN we’re talking about, so you’d hope there would be some video. You can watch on-demand clips related to breaking news. However, we’re huge fans of the live streaming video integration. Anytime there’s a breaking event (Obama gives a speech, a major natural disaster, election night, etc.), live coverage from CNN Live becomes available. Hell, this is a feature that I’d purchase as a standalone app itself.
iReport: Out of all of the CNN iPhone App’s features, this one may be the most game-changing. iReport is CNN’s user-generated citizen journalism initiative, where everyday citizens can upload photos, videos, and stories about events happening near them. Some of it is even used on CNN’s news coverage.
Guess what? The app lets you submit photos and videos you take with your iPhone to iReport and to CNN. Can you imagine how much citizen journalism this app will encourage?
To say we’re impressed with this app is an understatement. CNN went all-out with features and functionality, but did it in a way that’s simple and easy to use and consume. The app sets a new standard in functionality and even has the potential to change the news game with its iReport integration. It’s the complete package.
Reviews: Twitter, video