Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Short takes: CNN releases iPad app; Tribune says Reuters America will make them less reliant on AP

The once famous, now decrepit cable news channel CNN has released its first iPad app and it looks pretty good. Of course, like its iPhone cousin, the app kind of shows off how little news the media company actually produces.
The CNN App for iPad (who names these things?) is free to download, and the company has now converted its iPhone app from paid to free, as well.

I'll take a look at the new app tomorrow, but I should point out that the app gives users three ways to view it: a collage-like layout seen here in the screenshot, an RSS feed like layout, and as one story at a time. The app also has a radio feature that gives the user an hourly update -- total length two minutes. (I guess CNN figures that those serious about the news wouldn't be interested in CNN anyways.)

The Tribune Company seemed to brag a little as it announced that it had signed a multi-year agreement to become one of Reuters America's first customers. The company went out of its way to dig the AP a bit by saying that the agreement with Reuters "will make them less reliant on Associated Press for print and online content. Ouch.

So far the Tribune Company has not dropped AP, but the company's papers have experimented with "eschewing AP content in news, business and features", as they said. Most likely they found that going cold turkey left large holes to fill. Reuters America might just be able to fill those holes.

I was quickly reviewing the iTunes App Store for new media apps when I came across a new RSS feed reader: Albania News -- all the news you could ever want about Albania. At first I thought that this was another example of apps showing up in the wrong stores. Then I found a new one for news from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus -- MNDaily.

It was only then that I realized I was still signed into the Australian store. It's a mess.