Last year, we worked with KPBS in San Diego to launch an iPhone app. Now, they’re on Android, too. Both apps run on our station app platform, which offer efficient, affordable development and improved performance thanks to a codebase that powers several apps at once.
While KPBS isn’t our first Android station app (that distinction goes to WQXR in New York), it’s the first on our latest version of the platform. It has all the features of the iPhone app while being a truly Android experience, using the design guidelines and conventions that people with Android devices expect.
A highlight of this approach is an adaptive design, meaning that the app stretches and shrinks to fit a variety of screen sizes and resolutions, from smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy to tablets like the Nexus 7. So more people can enjoy the app – and KPBS’s content – as it was meant to be.
Keep an eye out for more public media stations coming to Android soon via our platform. And get in touch if you want to learn more.
With so many public media fans and newbies engaging with us on mobile, it seems only natural that they should be able to donate to their favorite stations and programs on mobile, too. It follows that Apple would make this easy to do. Not so. PRX’s CEO Jake Shapiro has spoken out on this issue, but it hasn’t changed yet.
Android doesn’t have Apple’s explicit restrictions, but it does have other barriers to frictionless donation.
PRX has explored solutions for as long as we’ve been building mobile apps. See a few in action in our station apps.
But there’s much room for innovation. Join PRX’s Technical Projects Director Matt MacDonald and other user experience experts from public media and beyond for a working session, “Pledge Your Support for Mobile”. It will be at the Integrated Media Association (IMA) conference on March 8, just before SXSW. This session is for UX, tech, membership, development, and anyone else who wants to channel our audiences’ mobile engagement into support for public media.
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.
November 14th, 2011 → 9:48 pm @ Rekha at PRX // Comments Off
PRX continues to colonize California with a new iPhone app for KPBS in San Diego. Get the app now.
Listen and view the station’s radio and TV programs and programming schedules. Read up on the latest local, national, and world news. Enjoy KPBS’s extensive arts coverage including their blogs, Culture Lust and Cinema Junkie.
For those interested in local programming, check the on-air schedules in the app and tune in live to Midday Edition, Evening Edition, and Envision San Diego, or get past episodes in On Demand. If you’re looking for something to do in San Diego, take advantage of KPBS’s events picks.
And, while you’ve got local on the mind, KPBS wants to hear from you – submit text, photos, and audio in response to assignments and help shape their coverage. This feature is a version of PRX’s Assignments product, which you can also see in the WBUR, WGBH, and VPR apps.
What’s next? We’ve got a KPBS app for Android in the works, and as with all our apps, we’ll continue to partner with KPBS on ongoing improvements.
October 18th, 2011 → 3:49 pm @ Rekha at PRX // Comments Off
We know, this blog has a string of app release announcements. But don’t you want to know about the new KQED app for iPhone? Of course you do!
KQED serves Northern California, including the Bay Area. This app is going to keep you busy.
If you’re a KQED member, you can enjoy KQED Perks — discounts offered by local businesses — more easily than ever. Scan through a list of discounts, find them on a map, and redeem by launching a virtual member card in the app itself. Just show your device to the business and the discount is yours – no paper card needed! This feature is a result of our integration of member benefits and member validation into the PRX station app platform.
As with all of our station apps, this app makes it easy to support the station. And don’t you think, with all this content and technology goodness, they deserve it?
October 14th, 2011 → 7:03 pm @ Rekha at PRX // Comments Off
WNYC’s new iPhone app is now live in iTunes, the latest product of our mobile partnership with New York Public Radio. The WNYC app follows on the heels of its classical cousin, WQXR, whose iPhone app launched last month. We’re working together on Android versions for both, coming soon.
WNYC is one of the top public radio stations in the country, with an exciting mix of news, culture, and music. The app was designed to present this abundance of content in a way that’s appealing and easy to navigate. You can listen to programming, read blogs and news feeds, find local events, pledge your support, and more.
The app is powered by the PRX station app platform, which streamlines the development and updating process while letting WNYC’s unique identity take center stage.
Learn more about WNYC and the app in this press release.
September 27th, 2011 → 6:49 pm @ Rekha at PRX // Comments Off
Vermont Public Radio is now on the iPhone. The VPR app is based on the PRX station app codebase, and the result is very much a Vermont app. That’s because VPR is deeply rooted in its communities, with regular news, features, and services. Their coverage of Hurricane Irene’s impact on the state kept a lot of people informed when information was hard to come by, earning them strong praise (and we’re sure much gratitude).
The VPR app is an expression of the network’s desire to inform and include its listeners. The Tell Us feature is based on PRX’s Assignments product, which lets VPR staff invite people to submit audio, photos, and text in response to specific assignments and topics. The app also offers classical music programming and commentaries from Vermonters.
Get the app now. Whether or not you have direct connections to Vermont and VPR, it’s great to see another quality app for public media out in the hands of the listeners we serve.
Assignments for good times…
…and not-so-good times.
September 26th, 2011 → 9:53 pm @ Daniel Gross // Comments Off
The newest mobile app from our able app-smiths is the WQXR classical music app for iPhone. It’s a fusion of everything classical from New York Public Radio’s WQXR station – and that means diverse streaming and on-demand music, plus program information and some fantastic reading material. We’re proud to collaborate with this classical music powerhouse, and help you:
Inside the app you’ll find a wealth of detail about what you heard and will hear on WQXR. Between feature stories and relevant events, you’ll be up on the latest news from the classical music world. You can set an alarm clock/sleep timer and wake up (or fall asleep) to your favorite music.
WQXR’s knowledgeable and passionate hosts make the airwaves classy from the top of the Empire State Building. PRX’s freshest app delivers their selections beautifully to your mobile device. It’s part of our ongoing efforts to get great public media into more hands.
An Android version of the app is on the way.
When you launch the Public Radio Player, the first thing you see after the welcome screen is a list of Featured Live Stations. We put it there to keep your head from exploding by not showing you all 500 station streams at once. (If you actually want to try to explode your head, just tap the State button at the top of the screen for the full list.)
The latest list features music stations playing many genres, including rock, hip-hop, indie, jazz, bluegrass, classical, and folk. There’s news from stations large and small from East, West, North, and South. There’s a Spanish-language station, a Native American station, and a couple of community radio stations, too. And, of course, there’s our beloved REMIX Radio stream of particularly interesting public radio pieces.
So check out the newest arrivals to the Featured Live Stations spotlight. And let us know who you want included in future rotations.
(By the way, if you want to find a station that was previously featured, look them up by State. If you don’t know the state, post a comment and we’ll help.)
October 18th, 2010 → 1:15 pm @ Rekha at PRX // Comments Off
We know, with thousands of listening options on the Public Radio Player, you haven’t run out yet. But you should move this one to the top of the list.
We’re proud to announce a whole new kind of public radio listening, now available on the Player. It’s called REMIX Radio. It’s also from PRX.
REMIX Radio is “a 24-hour semi-formatless remix of the best public radio stories, amazing podcasts, fascinating interviews, found tape and intriguing sounds.” When host/DJ/Remixer-in-chief Roman Mars finds something interesting, it truly is. You see, public radio has a bit of an indie scene to it, believe it or not. And Roman lives there. Well, actually, he lives in Oakland, but he lives virtually in a world where public radio is hip, edgy, gripping, and revealing.
Until recently, you needed a satellite radio to catch REMIX on XM 136. In Spokane, WA, you could tune in on broadcast station KPBZ. Now, thanks to the Player, anyone with an Apple mobile device can hear REMIX.