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ABC iPad app: hands on

The ABC will launch an iPad app over the next few weeks, delivering a slick and intuitive way to consume the wealth of ABC content.

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Joseph Hanlon
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Home zone

The ABC Innovations team has been hard at work preparing its iPad specific app to coincide with the Australian launch of the tablet computer, and they invited CNET Australia into the offices at Aunty to work through the sexy new design.

The ABC iPad app will follow in the footsteps of the highly successful iPhone app produced in-house at the ABC, an app which has been downloaded over 720,000 times by Australian iPhone owners. The iPad app will serve a similar function as a tool for aggregating the wealth of ABC content, but the higher-resolution 9.7-inch display demanded a complete overhaul of the user interface, and offers new ways to interact with the content.

The ABC is planning to complete work on the app by early next week, so you can expect the app in store soon after, depending on how quickly Apple approves the submission.

The newly designed home screen launches with more content at the user's fingertips than possible on the iPhone.

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Headlines

The carousel image at the top of the page links to the top stories, and below the film strip shows thumbnails for all the latest articles. Swipe from right to left on the film strip to drag more stories into view.

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Film strips

Below the news you'll find the latest entertainment news and links to the most up-to-date video content.

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News, glorious news

Like the home screen, the News landing page features a carousel of headlines and links to the latest video updates. All five links on the right-hand side are active links to motion pictures.

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Broadsheet

News articles will be displayed in a full-screen portrait orientation, with an inset picture. The ABC Innovations team told us they are working on embedded video for the second generation of the app.

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Watch and listen

There will be loads of audio and video on offer within the new iPad app, though users are warned to be in the vicinity of a Wi-Fi hotspot before trying to load any of the long-form video content.

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Multitasker

If you choose to stream live radio or listen to a podcast within the app, a player will open discreetly at the bottom of the screen. This way, you can continue reading the news while listening uninterrupted.

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Catch-up TV

As with the iPhone app, the iPad app will serve a variety of recently broadcast ABC TV content. You can play a video in a windowed mode, or choose to watch it in exquisite full screen.

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