When CNN first launched in the 1980, they were ahead of the curve. It filled a desire for up-to-the minute news constantly being reported. This was over a decade before the Internet began to generate and spread its own news constantly and another decade before apps like Twitter turned every person into a potential journalist. Although CNN has been criticized for the value of their reporting at times, they are still a popular news source and continue to pursue the next big thing in journalism.
Their Android app received two new features a few weeks ago as well as teasing some new features that will be coming shortly.
360 videos: Play CNN 360 video content without leaving the app–just tap on a 360 piece and rotate your phone during playback to enjoy a full 360-degree experience
Chromecast support: Cast your favorite video clips to your 1st or 2nd generation Chromecast device. (Live TV and full Android TV support coming soon)
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360 degree videos are in style right now. It’s easy for you to slip your phone into a Google Cardboard unit and suddenly become immersed in the news. It can be a vivid experience and the value of immersive news has not taken off yet. CNN definitely wants to invest at the beginning and start to understand how they can take advantage of this new medium. The NYTimes is also experimenting with this. Although this may not work well on a TV, optimizing media for different form factors can still be beneficial.
Chromecast support was also added. This is a great way to watch a longer interview or news report onto a big screen where you can hear the conversation through high quality speakers rather than the ones that come with your phone.
This also teases Live TV streaming and full Android TV support. These two things are going to be huge features for CNN watchers. Being able to watch the latest news not only on your phone but on your TV should improve viewership. Although they mention the two together, there is not a current plan to add support for Live Channels. Although this would make sense, and has Bloomberg as a precedent, it may not happen.