Windows Store is being frequently updated with new Modern UI apps by popular and new developers alike, and one of the latest entrants in Windows 8’s tablet-friendly app ecosystem is the official CNN Windows 8/RT app. Simply labeled CNN App For Windows, the app not only looks great, but is also jam-packed with a multitude of features. It keeps you informing about the latest breaking news and headlines from one of world’s most popular news channel. Some of the prominent features of the app include Live tile support that keep swiveling latest headlines on the app’s Start Screen tile, video broadcasts of top stories, CNN’s iReport integration, and changeable font size for better readability.
Akin to other Modern UI apps, CNN for Windows can be installed directly from Windows Store. The main screen of the application, which proudly holds the company’s signature red corporate branding, lets you take a peek at the latest and featured stories from around the world. Scrolling to the right side of the screen reveals further sub-sections providing access to a number of news categories including Entertainment, Tech, World, US, Money, Travel, Justice etc., along with sections for featured video stories and CNN iReport.
Clicking or tapping the headline exposes the full article underneath, complete with the text and headings laid out in a crisp, easy-to-read format, and related photo galleries & videos embedded right in the article. You can open photo galleries and start video playback by just tapping on them in the article view.
The gallery feature is pretty nifty, to say the least. It allows manually sliding between photos via the in-gallery navigation buttons, or you can simply click Play to start a slideshow. You can even save the gallery to your favorites using the Save Gallery button in the nav-bar.
The app also allows viewing video feeds from CNN’s actual broadcasts. The video feature is great for those who don’t want to thoroughly read the whole article, and would rather quickly watch the brief news story coverage. The navigation buttons at the bottom lets you pause the video, adjust volume, or skip the video to your desired position with the help of seek bar.
The top app bar allows instantly jumping to different sections of the app including Home, Latest Stories, Videos, History and Favorites. From the bottom, you can switch between the International and US versions of CNN, and refresh the current page.
Cannot recall that news you once read? Fret not! The app’s History section keeps a tab on everything you read and view. Here, you can jump back to your previously read articles, and access your previously viewed photo galleries and videos again. The Favorites section is laid out the same way as History, showing you the articles, galleries and videos that you have manually saved as favorites.
Back in 2006, CNN launched its iReport service to make news reporting a seamless and intuitive event. The service allows any person from any corner of the world to submit their own stories related to their own town, city or country. CNN has integrated iReport in the Windows 8 app as well. Though you’ll need to sign in with your account before you can start sharing your own feeds, but the membership is free and the app allows you to create a new account if you don’t already have one.
The app’s Settings bar is quite minimal, and only lets you change your News Source (US or International) and Font Size (Small, Medium, Large). Tt would have been nice to have some more options to play with, such as changing video quality.
The app’s incredible design, ease of use, and feature list easily make it one of the best news apps to hit Windows Store. It works on Windows 8 and Windows RT.