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

Daniel Bader

August 28, 2014 2:05 pm

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.