When we set out in early 2010 to make a mobile app with WBUR Boston, iOS — the operating system that runs on iPhones, iPods, and iPads — was the natural choice of platform. It still had far more users than Android, Google’s mobile operating system, and the iTunes App Store was more user-friendly than the Android Market. Also, the fragmentation of the Android platform across hundreds of different devices seemed to guarantee an unreliable experience for all but people with the most advanced devices.
So we launched WBUR on the iPhone, and we reused much of that code to develop high-quality, affordable apps for several more stations. We call this master codebase the “PRX station app product“, with built-in features and things stations can customize.
Like so much in digital technology, things change pretty fast. By mid-2011, Android device adoption was actually ahead of iOS, the Android Market was starting to improve significantly, and the platform was more stable across more devices (though it still has a ways to go, especially for audio/video playback).
In other words, it was time.
Today, we’re proud to announce the first station app for Android: WQXR Classical from New York Public Radio. Like the iPhone apps, WQXR for Android is based off of a PRX station app product developed specifically for Android.
Thanks to the efficiency of this master codebase, and the growing demand for Android apps, you’ll be seeing more public media stations coming to Android soon.