More and more TV viewers are seeing the news, not from traditional 5-6-10 p.m. broadcasts, but from online and other sources. Two Birmingham stations have custom apps for the iPhone (which are also compatible with the iPod Touch and soon-to-arrive iPad).
In this post, we review CBS 42’s free iPhone app.
Birmingham-based iPhone developers Brian Cauble and Josh Grenon served as our guest reviewers.
CBS 42 iPhone app: News and Weather tabs
What was your overall experience?
Brian: My experience was actually very positive.
Do you get the sense that this is a custom app, or a “skinned” app for TV station affiliates?
Brian: I know that it is a skinned app, but it has the feel of a custom app.
Josh: I think this can be a skinned app. It seems that only a few view images and data have to be changed for this app to be used for another news station.
As a news consumer, what did you like? What would you add?
Brian: The organization was really well done. I found it easy to navigate. I would add the ability to customize the categories.
Josh: I liked the different types of news in this application. There was everything from horoscopes to video news. I wouldn’t add any else to the news.
As an app developer, what did you like? How would you improve it?
Brian: I think the app is laid out well and very attractive. The video quality could be improved a bit. I would allow users to log in to Facebook or Twitter and store that login to make sharing easier.
Josh: As an app developer, I am very disappointed in this application. It seems like the developer spent too much time designing the top menu bar. Also the top menu bar was horribly placed at the top of the screen; it would be much easier to navigate if it were placed at the bottom. The rest of the app did not get as much attention as the top menu bar did, and so my overall user experience suffered. I would also remove all ads to improve this application.
Since it’s a free app, would you pay money for it? How much? Why or why not?
Brian: I would pay as much as $1.99 for it. It is a much better experience than a mobile Web site.
Josh: I would pay 99 cents for this application to remove all ads.
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Our other review: the Fox 6 iPhone app.
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Brian Cauble (@briancauble) is the co-owner of Appsolute Genius, an iPhone application development company in Birmingham. His other interests include promoting local entrepreneurship through Birmingham Entrepreneur, participating in social media and a huge attachment to college football.
Josh Grenon (@joshgrenon) is a .Net developer by day and an iPhone developer by night. He started developing iPhone applications — such as Bham iCamp — in early 2009. Josh is also executive producer of Inspirageek, a casual yet informative video blog for geeks, and founder of user group Birmingham Mobile Tech.
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What should Birmingham media outlets do online?
Ask our all-star panel on Feb. 16.