Crave app puts CNET UK in your pocket

We're as proud as pandas of our new Crave iPhone app, which gives away all the technology and gadget news that's fit to print, all for free on your iPhone.

We'd love to be able to talk to each of our readers individually, but frankly, we just don't have the time-management skills that would require. But if you want us at your beck and call, like your own personal gadget butlers -- and you have an iPhone -- then the new Crave app is for you.

The app delivers all the latest tech news from our Crave blog right to your phone, so you can read them when you're out, about, or stranded on a desert island for five years with only a volleyball for company. You also get the sights and sounds of videos and podcasts, so you won't miss out on anything while you while away the hours building a hut from coconut leaves.

We're pretty proud of this little jewel in the App Store, and we'd like to introduce you to some of the app's tricks and treats.

Here's the thumb-friendly home screen: it lets you know how many new stories await you within.

You can set the app to return to this screen or drop you back wherever you left when you were so rudely interrupted. If you want to change the setting, hit up the app's preferences and mess with the settings for icon view.

Tap the category you're keen on, and all is revealed -- the headline, a short summary and a thumbnail image all tempt you into the gadgety wonders within.

From each story, hit the sharing button to send a link to the article via email, Facebook or Twitter. This is where you can email a link to your Instapaper account to add any CNET UK story to your daily news.

If you want to delve a little deeper, tap the search shortcut to find stories on any tech topic from the past five years, so you can be up to date even if you're behind the times. Sort by relevancy, date and popularity -- depending on whether you see life as the whim of fate, a succession of meaningless events, or an opportunity to learn from others.

Search is just one of the shortcuts along the bottom that jump you to your favourite categories. But don't let us tell you what to do -- you can drag and drop any categories you want into these places of honour, including links to a plethora of podcasts and an embarrassment of videos.

The app is particularly good at showing off our hand-crafted photo galleries, where you can see all the latest gear up close and personal-like. If you're wondering how that mobile phone is going to look grasped in your hot little hand, this is the way to find out. Luckily, our reviewers were chosen for CNET UK specifically because our hands perfectly reflect the UK average size.

Don't get hung up on the little arrows in the photo galleries either -- you can also swipe to move from one image to the next, and tapping the picture hides the navigation and caption so you can see the latest swag in all its full-screen glory.

Those who prefer a personal tour of the tech news won't be disappointed, since all our Crave Live videos are here too. That  includes special features to introduce you to new gear, top-speed trips in the latest wheels in Car Tech, and hands-on videos grabbed behind the scenes at launches and events.

If aural fixation is more your thing, all the podcasts are served up by the Crave app too, and you can listen to them from right in the app. So if, Thor forbid, you haven't grabbed this week's CNET UK podcast from iTunes, you'll never have to go without your approximately half hour of news and views from the bowels of Crave Towers.

We hope you like the Crave app -- we think it's the best free app money can't buy. But like children of a demanding stage mother, we're always working hard to improve, so let us know what we can do better by posting a review in iTunes or a comment on our Facebook wall. (Please ask for the zombie monkey Easter-egg game, because we're already halfway through building that.)

And if you're not using an iPhone, never fear -- versions for Android and other platforms are also working their way through the CBSi approval process at the speed of a particularly sprightly glacier.

 

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