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Behind the NPR News App

Development team gives some insight into the thinking behind it

What goes into development of a major new iPhone app for radio?

NPR’s Demian Perry gives some idea in a blog post this week, talking about the development of the NPR News iPhone application.

He talks about NPR’s use of Bottle Rocket, a company that specializes in apps, and how the app was built mostly on NPR’s Story API, “which allowed us to deliver tight data packets that would ensure speedy navigation within the app.”

NPR’s research, he writes, indicated that loyal listeners wanted it to “stay close to our roots in audio journalism and create a passive listening experience” but that it also needed to think about the growing set of media consumers who expect “24/7 coverage, time-shifted broadcast content and the ability to actively customize a news browsing experience.” That includes “omnivorous news junkies who regularly consumed newspapers, television, Internet and radio, often at the same time.”

Read the discussion here including an early sketch of the app’s user interface.