If you are a news junkie like me then Windows 8 offers you some tantalizing features. The new Start screen has an ever-growing supply of apps available in the Windows Store, and a good number of those are news. Now, the popular U.S.-based 24 hour cable news network CNN has thrown its hat into the game.
Today the Ted Turner startup released its "Metro" or "Modern UI" app for Windows 8 and Windows RT. Self-described as a way to "Go beyond the surface with international, politics, opinion, tech and entertainment stories and more. Contribute your story or opinion to CNN iReport by uploading photos and video directly from your app. Follow other iReporters and see stories from their point of view."
Upon launch, you will get the "top story" and then be able to scroll right for other information like "latest stories", "sections", "video" and more. However, what most users are going to want is customization. Sadly, there is not much of that included at this point.
However, the app does provide some rather nice features right out of the gate. Right-click on the screen and you will be greeted with several options at your disposal.
- Latest Stories
Much of that is self-explanatory, but Favorites may be of interest to many users. It is initially empty, but as you save content then this is where you will find it. It is handy as a sort of "read later" repository -- think of it as bookmarking in the Windows 8 generation.
The International link does exactly what is says and sends you to stories that are not simply centered on the United States. Like the other menu items, it is self-explanatory.
The Start screen tile is also live, meaning you get real-time updates of headlines, which is a very nice touch, and one that other services should also consider -- yes, I know some do, but not all.
It is a nice start for CNN, but I honestly expected more. There really should be options to tailor the news feed more to the individual. For instance, I would love to have tech and sports news, but I found no easy way to do this. Perhaps these features will come in the near future.