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NPR goes Android, launches new mobile site

Getting NPRs Fresh Air on your Android

Getting NPR's Fresh Air on your Android

Android users will now be able to access the full range of National Public Radio programming thanks to a new app – “NPR News.”  The feature for the open source smart phone was built for NPR by Google developer and public radio fan Michael Fredrick. In addition, NPR has launched a new site for mobile listeners to access:

“We’ve seen a nearly ten-fold increase in our mobile traffic since the launch of our iPhone app earlier this year,” declared Kinsey Wilson, senior vice president and general manager, NPR Digital Media in a press release. “With the redesign of our mobile web site and the launch of the Android app we’re now able to bring that superior experience to a much wider audience.”

Doesn’t look like either of these services is actually available yet. NPR says the Android app will be downloadable “later this month.” We’re getting a 504 link to the mobile site on our BlackBerry at this point. But it all looks like it will be good stuff when up and running.

Here’s the list of features for both offerings, starting with the mobile site (source: NPR):

“New Station Search Feature. The site will allow users to search for stations by zip code, call letters, or city/state. Users will also be able to “favorite” or bookmark multiple stations.

· Higher quality audio experience. Users can stream the audio links on the site from within their device’s browser (rather than just “click to call”). The result is superior audio quality as well as availability in a wider range of audio formats: AAC, MP3, WMA, 3gp, and RM. Blackberry users can now play audio on the site within their browsers.

· More station audio. All the audio links available through the iPhone app will be available on the new NPR Mobile Web site: station live streams, podcasts, RSS feeds, and newscasts. A “device detect” feature will ensure that only audio links compatible with the particular device are displayed. Station logos will appear at the top of all screens that display station-specific content.

· Station newscasts. Station newscasts will continue to be available via the new NPR Mobile Web.

Highlights of the NPR News app for Android:

· Backgrounding. The NPR News app for Android allows backgrounding, so that users can click to listen to audio and then toggle between applications as the audio is playing. It also uses open source code, allowing developers to iterate and improve the app in the future.

· Listen and Read. Allows users to listen to programs and read news at the same time.

· Extensive Topics section. News section showcases NPR’s top 10-20 topics of the day ranging from Science to Books to World News.

· NPR station listening choices. Easy to find and bookmark more than 600 favorite NPR stations and hundreds of station on-demand streams. Live station streaming to launch in Spring 2010.

· Playlist. Bookmark favorite programs to play later.”

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