The VPR iPhone App has been completely redesigned and it's now available for free from the App Store.
Since our app first launched in 2011 we've learned a lot about what our audience wants and uses in a mobile app. Based on our metrics, your feedback, and trends in the mobile app space, we decided to focus this next version around three goals: improving the design and navigation, upgrading the listening experience, and emphasizing local VPR news and programs.
VPR again partnered with PRX to develop this newest release. You'll notice immediately that the App has a refreshed, more modern design. The navigation has been streamlined to allow for quicker access to content and to reflect many of the new standards for mobile app menus.
The audio player has been updated to improve listening to live streams, with greater consistency and stability. Due to popular request, we've also added an alarm clock that lets you wake up to VPR. Overall, the App is still the simplest, most convenient way to stream VPR, VPR Classical, or VPR Jazz 24 on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.
The App also emphasizes the local content you get only from VPR. The side menu gives quick access to the latest VPR News, Vermont Edition, newscast, Eye On The Sky Forecast, commentaries, Statehouse streams, and school closings. The news stories have an enhanced layout with pictures, audio, text, and share links. And the Featured Programs section serves up the most recent podcasts from the Vermont Garden Journal, Art Hounds, the Young Writers Project, and the VPR Cafe.
We did remove some content from this version, most notably our Twitter feed and the links to the podcasts of other public radio programs, like Fresh Air and The Writers Almanac. Why did we do this? Our metrics showed that these sections of the App received relatively low use. We also recognize that there are other free apps that focus specifically on these services: for example, if you want to hear podcasts of more national public radio programming, we recommend the Public Radio Player by PRX and the NPR Apps, and there are many other options still.
Now that the new VPR iPhone App is available we want to hear your feedback. What do you think? What do you suggest as a next improvement? Is there some other app or mobile service you think we should develop? Send us a message or contact us on Twitter.
The redesign of the VPR iPhone App is made possible by the VPR Journalism Fund.