CNN Leverages Social Networking with New iPad App

CNN calls itself "the place for politics," and now it's officially "the place for your iPhone and your iPad" too. The tech-friendly news network has both released an iPad application it says will provide an "immersive and visual news experience," and announced that its $2 iPhone app is now free in the United States.

CNN calls itself “the place for politics,” and now it’s officially “the place for your iPhone and your iPad” too. The tech-friendly news network has both released an iPad application it says will provide an “immersive and visual news experience,” and announced that its $2 iPhone app is now free in the United States.

While CNN arrives late to the party behind the likes of ABC News and BBC News in releasing a dedicated iPad app, it stands apart with its use of the multi-touch screen and emphasis on social networking.

This app arrives socially integrated, with a user comment feature that runs alongside content on the screen and an easy click for users to share text stories, images and videos from the App via email, Facebook and Twitter.

The app merges news, audio, photos, and videos in three different viewing options for users to choose. There’s a traditional Broadsheet (default) set-up with stories and images arranged in grid-format, a List View of running headlines sorted by category, and a Slideshow mode that offers a visual presentation of the day’s top headlines.

The network’s decision to offer both the iPad and its iPhone app free-of-charge is another sign of the trend towards TV news brands offering their content for free, while printed magazines and newspapers like The New York Times price their apps above the $2 mark.

The apps are also a sign of the stark differences between print and visual news. With the iPad app, instead of having to search through headlines to get to the top stories, there is a quick loading video and big, full color images. And users can access the network’s live streaming broadcast so you don’t have to wait for a story to be written in order to get the latest news.

The app also includes the option of push notifications for breaking news, and features a list of stories viewed by the user. Another change is a more behind-the-scenes approach, with the live video option giving users raw live footage of breaking news and other major events instead of the cable network’s news feeds.

CNN for the iPad is available now in the iTunes store and compatible with iPads running iOS 3.2 or later.