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It’s amazing what you can get for free.

There are so many services for smart-phone users today that offer free apps. Games, social media, or reference, there’s an app for almost anything. But live TV on your phone? My cable bill costs more than my first car payment, and the car payment ended after 4 years. But now, you can get live TV on your hip…. free (well, nothing is totally free, as you will see below)!

Keeping up on news and trends has changed. Today you find news on Twitter, or Google+, but CNN is is still a staple in broadcast news. CNN has released an app, available for Android and iOS, that brings the cable news station to you, wherever you are.

Watch your favorite CNN shows, watch CNN TV live – 24/7 with video coverage of live events and video clips, or become the reporter by recording and submitting video or photo iReports. CNN’s app even ties in with the major social media tools to let you share stories via e-mail, SMS, Twitter and Facebook.

So what’s the catch?

First, the app is ad supported. I hate ads in my apps. Poorly done ads can ruin a great app experience. I would rather pay for it.

Second, the app’s Live TV feature has to be unlocked by entering your cable or satellite account info. This bothers me, and this is why Net Neutrality matters. Why would AT&T want me to stream free CNN? Free TV means I don’t need their U-Verse service, just the DSL. Same with Comcast and the others. My internet shouldn’t be tied to my TV service, but in reality it is. If my choice of internet content conflicts with my ISP’s business model they can make it much more difficult for me to browse that content. This is the same issue I mentioned in my HBO GO App of the Week back in May. Currently the app supports live CNN TV for AT&T U-Verse, Comcast, Cox, Dish and Suddenlink customers, but they say more providers coming soon. Yep, No Time Warner Cable.

CNN’s app is available for iOS in the iTunes App Store, where it has 3.5 stars from 10,431 ratings. Android user can find it in the Android Market where it has 3.8 stars from 2,322 ratings.

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July 31, 2011 at 7:35 am | KCAL Crew, KCAL Rocks, Lifestyle, Technology | No comment