In recent years, NPR has become synonymous with “talk radio.” Whether it’s through regular old AM and FM airwaves, Sirius/XM, or online, odds are you know someone who religiously listens to NPR. People have been clamoring for a fully featured app for some time, and now it’s finally here with NPR One. Thankfully, it delivers pretty much everything you could possibly want.
First things first, the app is extremely clean. Because it’s being streamed live, there’s the option to pause, play, rewind 15 seconds, and skip to a new segment. All of the information is easy to read, and the standard UI notes the day, subject, and approximate length of the segment. Having said that, don’t expect nearly as much control as pretty much every other podcast app on the market. What you see is what you get, and although it’s good enough to switch between segments, it’s decidedly low-tech by current standards.
What it could also use is a little extra navigation, displaying multiple channels and the current subject matter in a better format. As it stands, you have to search for specific regions by typing in a zip code (or its call letter), or by searching for channels near your location. It’s a great start, but a full regional listing with all of the current subjects would be ideal.
Where NPR One really shines is in its ability to deliver short news bursts in a rapid-fire fashion. You can easily search your history as well as flip through the skip function to find something you’re interested in, from pop culture to world news in seconds.
NPR One is a fine app, but it’s not a one-stop-shop for all things NPR quite yet. It needs a few more updates until it fully replaces your go-to listening app, as even the Sirius/XM on-demand system is more refined. For everyone else who just wants to listen to quality programming with no fuss though, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for.
NPR One is an iOS app that can be downloaded for free in the iTunes App Store.