Following on from the launch of its Android tablet app, CNN has unveiled an official app for Android smartphones.

For those wondering what the big deal is about launching the same app again, unlike iOS, Android tablets and smartphones run a totally different version of the operating system and iOS-like universal binaries compatible with both tablet and phone are virtually non-existent.

The Android app looks strikingly similar to its iOS counterpart and, except for a few strategically altered menu placements, both look like they are fresh out of a copier. The app supports push and, if set, you can receive breaking news updates as and when they happen.

11 CNN App launches for Android phones

Home Screen

Like all the other CNN apps, this one showcases videos prominently. The grid on the top left corner of the app makes navigation a lot easier than the iOS app. From here, you can jump straight to the Radio, Video, iReport, Headlines and Profile sections.

Using your location data, the CNN Profile section serves local news and weather updates. Stories can be saved for reading later – even when you are off the grid.

2 CNN App launches for Android phones

Grid View

Extensive social features are part and parcel of the app. Articles and images can be shared with others from the app via email, Facebook or Twitter.

The app is available as a free download in the Android Market and can be installed on devices running Eclair (version 2.1) and above. For some reason, during the entire period I was using the app, it was transmitting like crazy over Wifi. Except for that one little quirk, CNN for Android is one more evidence that no one can ignore the Google’s platform anymore.