CNN Mobile: Feature-rich, Interactive, and Not Free
image via CNN
CNN.com released its CNN Mobile
iPhone app on Tuesday, with a number of slick features its competitors don't have... including a $1.99 price tag.
Other news outlets like The New York Times, France24
, the Associated Press
, and NPR
have had free apps out for some time. CNN is taking something of a risk in making its offering a non-free download, but obviously hopes its feature set makes it attractive enough.
The free (with ads) content includes both video on demand and live breaking news reports, with push notifications when live newscasts are available. The text-based news is fairly standard, with a photo and headline/subhead for each story. Rotate the phone to landscape orientation, though, and you get a CoverFlow-style photo flow that you can navigate to find the story you're interested in.
CNN Mobile makes some interesting steps in the direction of social media, with the capability to forward news stories to Facebook, Twitter and SMS. And the ability to upload photos or video (3GS only) directly to CNN's iReport site from the iPhone holds out the possibility of improving "citizen journalism," with millions of iPhone users worldwide potentially able to report on breaking events as they occur.
For hardcore news junkies, and especially people interested in reporting their own news, the CNN Mobile app may be well worth the (minimal) price tag. There are, however, a plethora of free options out there for just reading the news. This app, though, does raise the bar for interactivity, and it'll be interesting to see if any of the free news apps follow suit.