New WRAL app delivers on breaking news, weather and traffic
Posted February 18, 2015
Updated February 20, 2015
The most popular local news app in the Triangle area has been updated with many new features and is now available for download from the Apple iTunes and Google Play stores.
The redesigned free mobile news app, which has been downloaded more than 250,000 times, includes a host of new features designed to deliver a better user experience:
- Easier access to live video streams, including all WRAL newscasts (Look for the red LIVE button at the top of any section)
- Enhanced push alerts that take users directly to the story as it unfolds (Just tap and go)
- Quick access to the 7-day forecast. It's right on the home screen.
- Location aware Weather section that defaults to your device location -- anywhere in the U.S.
- Option to store forecasts and conditions for multiple cities (Just click the "+" button at the top of the Weather page)
- Customizable push alerts -- choose from breaking news, traffic and video alerts -- so you only get the alerts you want (Customize from Settings page)
- Story comments inside the app (Click "Comments" link at the bottom of each story)
- Larger Doppler animations (Rotate your phone to landscape view)
- Continuously updated traffic video along the Triangle’s busiest highways
- Audio streaming from 99.9 The Fan, 620 The Buzz and The Ticket while you browse
Also new in this update: the option to customize the page that is shown when the app first starts -- also known as the start screen. You'll find it on the Settings page, accessible from the menu.
“With the explosive growth in mobile usage, it is critical to provide an app that takes advantage of the user’s location and mobility,” said WRAL.com General Manager John Conway. “The new app emphasizes weather, traffic and live sports scores for users on the go, while also offering them more customization options.”
This new iteration of the WRAL News app was made locally – and in-house – by CBC New Media Group’s own technology team. “Given the maturity of today's cross-platform development tools, it has become more cost-effective to build mobile apps. It is no longer necessary to have separate developer teams for Android and iOS, and it's now possible to leverage the same skillsets we use for development of sites like WRAL.com to build compelling mobile apps,” said Jason Priebe, CBC New Media director of technology. “Building and maintaining the code in-house gives us a much higher level of flexibility in terms of meeting our end users' needs.”
Users who already have the WRAL News app installed should be prompted to download an update, which will overwrite the old version of the app with the new one. The new app icon features a light blue stripe and reads “WRAL News App.” The old version says “WRAL News Mobile.”
The WRAL News app is available for free to iOS users at https://itunes.apple.com/app/wral-news-mobile/id300872165?mt=8. For Android users, a free download of the app is available in the Google Play store at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mylocaltv.wral&hl=en.
Additional free apps, including the WRAL Weather Alert app and WRALSportsFan app, can be found in the app stores and on the mobile download page of WRAL.com.
If you have feedback on the new app, tap "More" in the app menu, then "Contact Us."