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CNN enhances in-app video experience to improve news browsing

CNN is enhancing the user experience of its iOS mobile application with new features such as weather forecast, video sharing, added video clips and easier browsing.

The cable network launched the original Apple app about four years ago, but the company is continuously adding new features to further develop the product. The CNN iPhone app now lets users access additional features, such as viewing an extended ten-day local weather forecast and browsing through story pages by swiping to the left or right.

?We?re always trying to update and evolve our products to make sure that consumers are getting the best experience possible,? said Craig Kirkland, senior director of product strategy for CNN Digital, Atlanta, GA.

?Mobile is increasingly a key part of the way consumers engage with CNN each day, especially as more and more consumers rely on their mobile devices to get news,? he said.

App amp-up
In addition to weather and browsing updates, the CNN app now allows users to share videos while they watch.

A new Shows section lets users watch video clips from CNN shows such as New Day, Piers Morgan Live and Anderson Cooper 360°.

Additionally, the CNN logo disappears as users scroll down a story page so that it no longer covers headlines and photos. This particular update will greatly benefit users and lower reader frustration that accompanies content being blocked by a logo.

Mobile news
CNN has been a leader in mobile news, frequently rolling out new mobile initiatives.

For example, CNN partnered with Time Inc. to roll out a mobile app for the 2012 political conventions (see story). 

Additionally, the company launched a Kindle Fire app in September 2012 to make sure its content was available on as many platforms as possible (see story).

CNN also created an app specifically for the iPhone 5 to strengthen the mobile experience (see story).

?I believe the CNN app is among the best mobile apps ever built,? said James Ramsey, CEO of FiddleFly, Columbia, MD. ?With an app like CNN, you make updates because users expect improvement and companies that want to lead the mobile shift know it.?

Mr. Ramsey is not affiliated with CNN. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

?Mobile consumers devour content all day long," he said. "They expect to have relevant and ever-improving experiences. So if your company's mobile strategy fails to include a plan of constant upgrades, you have already lost.

?This app has to be making CNN the leader in news. This is the most-used app on my phone. They have built a brilliant content display system that introduces information in a way that feels natural and non-structured.?

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York