Microsoft have flicked the switch and released their latest iPad application today, which comes hot on the heels of the first Xbox LIVE application which was released in December 2011. The latest release by the Redmond-based company is not related to the previous app, but instead presents the exclusive content found on the MSN UK website in a format designed for the iPad.
The new MSN UK application follows a tried-and-tested format which has been starting to crop up in a number of news-based applications in recent times, and many are comparing the application to the Pulse iPad app which brings news and fun to the iPad screen in visually engaging manner. The MSN UK app features stories which are split up into a total of six main viewable channels which are Entertainment, Lifestyle, Cars, News, Sport and Video with a dedicated section for the editor’s picks.
Each section contains exactly what you would imagine – breaking news from around the world and information relating to each topic. Regular visitors to the MSN UK web service will immediately recognize the content in this application and will feel right at home from the very start. The app also features MSN’s award-winning Cars channel which compiles a large amount of information sure to be enough for any hardcore motoring enthusiast.
The application makes use of simple swipe gestures to let users navigate through each topic’s timeline, with a swipe left or right scrolling horizontally through the available stories or bulletins. Vertical swipes will also allow users to view off-screen channels. Once opened with a single tap, the post itself can be viewed in both main orientations of the iPad with the formatting of text and images amending itself to suit the chosen position. Video can be viewed within the application, as with most news apps, with the option to toggle seamlessly between high-definition and standard-definition video, depending on your network connection. To make things a little bit easier, articles and posts can also be downloaded and saved offline for viewing at a later date.
Visually, the MSN UK application is extremely appealing. The content is broken down into a user friendly set of topics, with each individual article containing text and a select few images which doesn’t detract the reader from the primary purpose of the application which is to deliver the news. Embedded social sharing links in each article also make it very easy to share stories should you wish. The MSN UK application is available to download now from the App Store, free of charge.