NPR News iPhone 4 update supports background streaming in iOS4

Jun 29, 2010
Tech

Fans of National Public Radio will be happy to know that the NPR News app has rolled out an update for iOS4 that allows background streaming of the station’s content. The app is close to being five-star worthy, but the NPR News update neglected one major component: the use of iPhone 4’s integrated audio controls. […]

Fans of National Public Radio will be happy to know that the NPR News app has rolled out an update for iOS4 that allows background streaming of the station’s content.

The app is close to being five-star worthy, but the NPR News update neglected one major component: the use of iPhone 4’s integrated audio controls. This means that while the audio played flawlessly while I checked email or browsed iBooks, I couldn’t stop or pause the playback without reentering the app itself. Using multitasking made this a quick action, but NPR’s developers need to roll out a second update that will allow users to control the sound with the iPhone’s headphones or the controls on the multitasking bar, both of which currently start and stop iPod playback. Pandora’s app has already integrated these controls, so the lack of support appears to be an oversight on NPR’s part.

Other users have mentioned that the update has caused excess crashing and segments cuing incorrectly, however, I didn’t experience any of these problems during my testing. The ability to stream NPR live is still included, as well as the option to listen to different NPR stations across the country. I was able to cue up Chicago’s WBEZ broadcast of “All Things Considered” in a matter of seconds, although I wish the “find a live feed” list was displayed in a better order. Users will also be able to access NPR’s archives by topic or show.

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