CNNMoney.com News, Stocks, and Video [free - iTunes link] is the latest big name entrant into the App Store financial news and media space. Leveraging their brand and resources, it looks like CNN.com's mobile site while working like an iPhone app. iPhone-likeness aficionados may take a few blinking moments to adjust, but it's a deliberate design decision that will no doubt appeal to the massive user-base of CNN.com's existing web services.
TiPb had a chance to test drive CNNMoney for the iPhone (and iPod touch), and from a pure content standpoint it's impressive. When you first launch, you're greeted with the News dashboard. At the very top is a rotating stock-ticker, then a sampling of latest news, stocks, videos, etc. Users can easily check or uncheck specific content options, and drag them around to re-sequence them in whatever order they prefer. (I immediately put technology news at the top).
The content itself isn't merely a feed. In an effort to give mobile users the best experience possible, both statistical measures like popularity and hand-picked curation on the part of CNN Money's editors determine which stories and in what order they're made available to the iPhone app. Also, stories loaded into the app are cached locally in case you need to go offline (i.e. on an airplane).
The free app is supported by advertising, but when there is no appropriate or available ad, rather than filler or "house ads", CNN Money cuts users a much-appreciated break and removes the ad space completely.
My Stocks is pre-populated with a few high profile favorites but can be easily customized. Tapping a stock brings up a details and graph view. As is typical with online stock reporting, quotes are delayed roughly 15 min. Once you've viewed a stock quote, a new section pops up on your dashboard News tab called Last 3 Quotes, and as the title indicates, it keeps track of your most recently views stocks.
Videos shows thumbnails and a brief description of the story. CNN Money typically produces over a dozen unique video segments a day, and they load quickly and look good on the iPhone.
The Add/Remove tab lets you do the content re-arrangement mentioned previously.
It should be noted that while CNN Money is compatible with iPhone 3.0, and the system-wide Copy functionality works fine, it doesn't yet support push notification alerts, or automatic video stream optimization. Hopefully we'll see these in an update. Along with a good James Earl Jones rendition of "This is CNN".
Screenshots after the break...
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.