With the launch of new mobile and tablet apps for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices, Voice of America Director David Ensor said in a statement that, “Everything is available in one place now.”
According to a release from the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees VOA, these apps are available in 43 languages (33 on Android), including Chinese, Russian, Swahili, Turkish and English. Apple iOS and Google Android apps are free and provide the latest news and information in text, audio and video.
Content is divided by region and by topic, with special news sections on science and technology, health and entertainment, with customizable font and content settings. Users can also directly share photos, audio, text or video with VOA editors in Washington, which Ensor said he hopes will increase and encourage international citizen journalism.
The app was also designed with slow connections or expensive data rates in mind, according to Will Sullivan, the BBG’s Office of Digital Design mobile project manager.
“This app allows you to switch to a low-bandwidth mode, so, for example, in parts of Africa where connectivity is slow and data charges are high, users can get our content streamlined for their needs,” Sullivan said in the BBG release.
The Android version of the app has integrated functionality with proxy server connections, so audiences can get unfiltered VOA news in countries where the Internet is censored by the government.