CNN released its first app for the iPad today, and the tablet version is an excellent companion to its iPhone counterpart, just as we predicted. The iPad version duplicates the media-rich experience of the website by including full-length articles, commenting, slideshow support and on-demand audio and video. Ads will be present in the app, and Lexus will be a featured advertiser, so prepare yourself to be distracted by slick images of luxury cars.
The app takes advantage of the iPad's screen real estate by offering three different viewing options - broadsheet, list view and slide show. The broadsheet view is for those that prefer to scan the top 350 headlines presented in a simple grid view. List view is self-explanatory, and the slide show view emphasizes the visual side of the news by letting you swipe through the top stories as you would a photo gallery.
You will never miss the breaking news as the app supports push notifications and will alert you when a new story is published. Similar to the iPhone app, the iPad version is socially aware and lets you share articles via email, Twitter and Facebook. The iPad lacks a camera, so the iPad app does not include the iReporting features available on the iPhone and current generation iPod touch. Would-be reporters should use their iPad for reading and their iPhone for filming when out and about.
The CNN app for the iPad is available for free on the App Store. With this launch, CNN has also dropped the price on its iPhone version, which is now available for free as well.