CNN, also known as the Cable News Network, rose to popularity thanks to its constant streaming of news. Since its creation solely for television, the Internet has come along and had a large effect on our media consumption habits. Now we can seek out a one-minute clip about a news item rather than spending half an hour on something more long form streaming from a TV. For those who like to stay current with all the world news trends, there is now a dedicated Android TV application. The new CNNgo app. While the name, CNNgo implies that it would be a mobile application designed to be used on cellphones and tablets, it is an Android TV application, focused on catching up on all the latest news from the comfort of your own home on the TV, compared to watching it on your smartphone or your tablet.
It is very well done, with a handful of animations and playback features that really allow it to stand out. While this is an app built for television, it does not include live TV support that is included in the CNN go app for smartphones, tablets and Apple TV’s. Another missing feature while not a bad thing is the ability login with your cable provider information so everyone has access, free news! The app begins by loading the top news videos and playing the first one in the background. You can interact with the video to access playback controls. Otherwise, you can go back to the home screen to continue browsing. The video keeps playing.
While CNN seems to be mostly using the Leanback library, this video playback interaction is not something that is currently supported. It seems like CNN made a number of modifications to the library to suit the needs of their app. While they are use using the Leanback library most notably they are missing the sidebar. There are categories for clips from each CNN show, like Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. At the end of each clip is a box which begins counting down to the next clip. This exists for both the shows and the more general categories. You can quickly select “Entertainment”, “World”, or “US” to get the most recent news videos on that specific topic. Finally is Live channels compatible? At this time it’s not but I hope to see it added for the sake of how easy it’s become to do that thanks to Nick. This should not be confused with CNN Go TV the CNN program that covers a unique area around the world or CNN Go where you can watch live TV on almost any device. Below is a short clip of the TV UI.