Our Rating: 80 /100 ( )
ABC News For iPad App
With already one of the best free iPad apps under it’s belt in ABC Player, the folks at ABC have released a specialized app featuring content from ABC News. As ABC Player was amongst the first to offer us a glimpse to the iPad’s streaming video capabilities, the ABC News App offers a new display interface to read the news. Through an Interactive Globe, you can spin through a rotating news ball to browse the top articles of the day. Although the globe is more of a novelty than anything, the ABC News App provides coverage for US, international, politics, money, entertainment, sports and and other popular news sections from ABC’s news affiliates and the Associated Press.
From the initial home screen, the ABC News player displays recent stories, news, and popular articles via a 360 degree rotational and interactive globe. The globe spins in any direction you choose and lets you choose from thumbnails of articles accompanied by descriptive subtitles. Tapping an article leaves the globe and displays the actual content in a traditional web page. While the globe seemed cool the first time we used it, the graphics are choppy at best and the lasting usability of the globe isn’t as functional as traditional columns.
The globe was a nice effort by ABC to create a new way to consume media (like Flipbook or Pulse News Reader), but in all, the globe should be scrapped or very least removed as the default view. Fortunately, the globe is only used for the app’s dashboard. For more traditional news columns, the ABC News App’s popular sections of politics, health, entertainment, money, technology, etc… are displayed in traditional news interface with a featured story, related articles, photo slide shows, and related videos in column format.
If you enjoy watching news as much as reading, select full episodes and clips of Good Morning America, World News, 20/20, and Nightline are available through an in-app video player.
While the sheer breadth of content and media in the ABC News App is amazing, the app still has some major usability issues beyond the globe. Content is often cluttered and not easily navigable. There’s not always a clear distinction between whether a link takes you to an article, photo, video. While switching between articles and sections often prompts the load screen for longer periods than desired.
But in all, the ABC News App is still a strong news and multimedia app that is a few usability fixes from being a 5-Star App.