After months of development, the free CNN news app for Apple’s tablet is available now from the App Store for free. Sporting media-rich bells and whistles, it lets you enjoy the bigger picture, as the 24/7 news channel likes to brag about.

Unlike the original CNN for iPhone app that launched as a 99-cent download and remained a paid app to this date, the iPad version comes free of charge. Like its iPhone counterpart, the new CNN App for iPad lets you share and comment on news and insights, browse various sections, but also watch live and breaking news video encoded in high resolution. 

The entire user interface has evolved, taking advantage of the iPad’s 9.7-inch multitouch display. The list of features includes the following items:

  • go beyond breaking news with top headlines, in-depth feature stories and video 
  • choose your view from different navigation options; quickly scan the headlines or immerse yourself in a slideshow 
  • take part in the conversation by commenting on stories and reading others? responses
  • share stories on Facebook and Twitter or via e-mail
  • save stories for offline viewing
  • watch live video streams of breaking news and other major news events

Strangely enough, the iPad version seems to be lacking some of the sections of the CNN website present in its iPhone counterpart. For example, I was unable to access Tech, Justice, and Health sections via CNN for iPad even though they’re lined up as regular menu items in the iPhone version of the app.