CBC overhauls its long-neglected Android app, makes it fast and modern

Daniel Bader

August 28, 2014 2:05pm

Canada’s public broadcaster, the CBC, issued a digital-first manifesto after the Conservative government slashed its funding, forcing massive layoffs and a rethink of its place in national culture.

With an increasing number of Canadians consuming news on their smartphones and tablets, especially those of the Android persuasion, CBC has acknowledged, with an overhaul of its News app, that Google’s OS is gaining traction and can no longer be ignored.

The new app is a complete redesign of the old decrepit version which, after two years of disuse, was barely functional. While it won’t win awards for design, the new app is clean and functional, with a traditional left-side sliding menu separating categories and a horizontal swipe separating sections within categories.

At launch, it doesn’t look like CBC allows for changes to text size, nor does it offer the ability to cache content for offline reading, but it’s a great first step. Local and national news is offered along with sports, health, lifestyle and tech stories. Full-length video of shows like The National are given prominence alongside shorter clips from various local news bureaus around the country.

  • Stephen Gower

    What about CBC Music? Android version is ugly and barely functional.

  • Michel Poirier

    At least it is better than the french version “Radio-Canada” that does not even do Landscape on a tablet.

  • deltatux

    While this is lightyears better, Google Newsstand still works better for CBC articles.

  • TomsDisqusted

    Great news – boy was that a horrible app! Hopefully they will re-write the CBC music app next.

  • OgtheDim

    Having the National available (although uncacheable so so much for watching it while on the subway home at night) is kinda neat I suppose but, realistically, what does this give me that aggregators don’t do better?

  • Marc

    I don’t see a layout change on my phone running Gingerbread? Still looks like the old app…