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CNN App for Android Phones lets you keep up with the news from anywhere

by Caitlin M. Foyt

Although CNN had previously released a tablet-specific app, it sure took them a while to launch an official one for Android smartphones. But, if you ask me, it was worth the wait. This app is dynamic, well-designed and easy to use.

CNN App for Android Phones reports the most current headlines via text, audio and photos, live and on-demand video, and gives you quick, easy access to CNN's iReport, the network's citizen journalism project. Just by tapping on your Droid's menu button, you're able to choose between your preference of the U.S. or international edition.

The app has a layout similar to what you see in a newspaper, the stories divided up into different sections. When you first launch the app, you'll see different news categories scroll along the top of your phone's screen: Top Stories, U.S., World, Politics, Justice, Entertainment, Tech, Health, Living, Travel and Opinion.

Each category has a drop-down feed of different news stories that include written articles, photos and videos. Exactly like what you encounter on the CNN website, users have to first sit through a brief commercial before they're rerouted to the video. Ads are also embedded between stories, but I didn't find these intrusive.

To keep things local, the app taps into your phone's GPS function and uses this information to track the news and weather you're most directly affected by. Any stories and images can be shared directly through email, Facebook and Twitter.

For those who don't keep their news apps open all the time, the CNN App has the option for you to turn on breaking news alerts. This way, news comes in the form of push-notifications so you don't necessarily have to stay tuned-in in order to keep up with what's going on in the world.

The neatest part of the app is CNN iReport, where users can read what other users have posted, or post their own material to the web. The app accepts video, photos and audio, and it appears to be really easy to upload your stuff.

I had only one minor issue with the CNN App. Because the app scrolls up and down as well as sideways, I had to be very precise about where I was putting my finger on the screen.

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