Jun 03 AT 9:36 PM Anthony Domanico 7 Comments

NPR makes source code for Android app public

NPR (National Public Radio) has just issued a press release announcing that they have made the source code for their Android application public. For those who have never heard of public radio (shame on you), it is a member supported radio service providing (usually) unslanted news coverage, classical music, and entertaining programs such as the Car Talk and This American Life. Google it. You won’t look back.

With the release of the application’s source code, NPR is hoping Android community programmers, in conjunction with Google developer Michael Frederick, will contribute cool new code that will make this app better. Not a programmer? NPR still wants to hear from you, as they believe user ideas are key to building innovative new functionalities.

So, all you programmers interested in helping create a truly wonderful public radio application as well as you Android users who simply want to share a brilliant idea you have, Tweet at NPR’s Android Twitter account (@nprandroid) for more details. Full text of the press release can be found below.

Show Press Release
Some ideas take on a life of their own. They grow and evolve beyond expectations.

It’s almost organic.

Since its bazaar beginning, NPR’s Android app has been an experiment, allowing NPR to test the waters of collaborating with the open source community.

We didn’t know how fast the Android platform would grow or what kind of an impact it would make. The last six months show us Android’s incredible trajectory and that our audience gravitates toward that momentum. Since the app’s release in December, we’ve seen astounding growth, and now over 100,000 people use this new platform each month.

In the spirit of the Android operating system, we’ve decided to make the code for NPR’s app public. We believe this matches perfectly with NPR’s public service mission. Public media implies our audiences have a stake in our product, and open source projects are a means to better connect to our stakeholders.

We want to connect with you.

If you are a programmer, you know what this is all about. If you find yourself spending your free time hacking up cool things just because it is your passion, then put your energy to a noble cause. Spend some time poking around our app. Not only are you helping NPR and your local member station, but you will get a chance to work with a developer at Google, Michael Frederick. Michael has been responsible for the majority of work in building the NPR Android app and is ready to engage with anyone contributing code to the project. Thanks to Michael’s generosity this project is off to strong start. But we don’t want it to stop there.

If you don’t spend your free time digging through the guts of your latest attempt at artificial intelligence, you can still be a part of this community, because no matter who you are, you can still have good ideas.

We need to hear from you. If you love NPR and believe in what public media stands for, join us. The more the better. Come talk to us on Twitter @nprandroid or wherever you engage with NPR.

Source: NPR Press Release

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • http://Website s15274n

    This is one of my fav apps. NPR is the best!! Wish I was capable of contributing.

  • http://Website Marc

    Agh… this just reminded me of the co-worker that thinks NPR has a liberal bias. man, I hate my job! Stupid economy!

    • http://adomanico01.blogspot.com/ Anthony Domanico

      Though you can certainly tell that many of the public radio hosts lean to the left, they are certainly no Fox news.

  • http://www.mobilemartin.com/ Michael Martin

    I love the NPR live streaming app – one of the MUST haves IMHO

    Hope more apps/developers follow the open trend to help the Android community improve


  • http://Website Dwight Bobson

    NPR has no android app. I have been trying for months to get an NPR app to work with my htc hero, to no avail, including from NPR. And I have had lots of help from IT people, teckies, and NPR station management.
    Lots of luck with that.

  • http://Website Ted S

    NPR is indeed a member supported station but it is also a taxpayer supported station. NPR tries hard not to be politically biased but they don’t always succeed. The bias most often manifests itself not in what is reported but in what is not reported. For instance NPR is more likely to do a story on the troubles of some protected class than they are to do a story on the negative effects of government regulation on big business. One story is reported, accurately by-the-way, but the other story goes unreported. Is this bias? Yes, it’s subtle, but it is bias.

    NPR should lose its public financing. If nobody is being forced to fund NPR then they can be as fair or biased as they want to be like all other news organizations.

  • http://in.linkedin.com/in/santoshbhandarkarindia Santosh Bhandarkar

    Where is the source code available? Any links for that page please? Thanks.