Every morning I wake up after nine consecutive egregious alarms set on my iPhone. I drag myself to a vertical position, and open my National Public Radio news app.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Oh gee… another useless podcast-style app that never loads and takes up two gigs of memory.” (I’m talking to you- Moth Radio and Apple Podcast.)
The NPR News App actually works.
I could turn on my radio in my room and spend the next hour hardly hearing it from two rooms away, but instead I’ll get to listen to the lead stories from Morning Edition right off the bat.
I do this by using my favorite thing about the app, the playlist function. It allows you to select an NPR program and add episodes to a continuous, hands free playlist.
That means I can stay alive in the morning as, headphones in, I groggily brush my teeth and stare at my unstylable hair.
Later, standing in the frozen cold waiting for the 15 minute late EMBARK bus, I’ll have Renee Montagne’s sweet voice informing me of the latest rise in oil prices.
The app also allows you to stream any NPR station in the country. So when I’m walking my dog on Saturday morning I can tune into WBEZ out of Chicago, or WNYC out of New York. If you close your eyes you can just maybe smell the $1 pizza.
I use this function when I am traveling a lot. I can be in middle-of-nowhere Kansas where the tone of their public radio station’s local announcer is like squeaky metal and instead tune into the familiar voice of Karen Holp harassing those good-for-nothing public radio listeners into pledging.
You can also scroll through and read NPR’s top news stories, which are posted sometimes before they are discussed on the radio.
All in all this is probably my most used app on my phone. It is available to iPhone and Android users for free.