How to stay informed on the road: every traveler needs this app

National Public Radio (NPR) is, for many, the sine qua non of the well-informed.  Now savvy travelers –  globe-trotters to road warriors – can stay current with NPR’s new phone app,  NPR One. It’s a treasure trove of real-time local and national news and analysis plus an array of NPR-produced podcasts.  Available free on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, and Microsoft.

Sure, live streaming of public radio has been going on for some time – but this new on-demand app combines NPR’s flagship programming, Morning Edition and All Things Considered, with the latest updates of national and local newscasts. Further, from a choice of podcasts offered, the listener can curate a very personalized list, augmented by recommendations by NPR One.

Their tagline, “It’s public radio made personal” is right, and it is the app every traveler needs to stay in-the-know.

IMG_1338So here’s how it works…. with demo screen shots from my phone.

The listener selects their local station (the person icon) to “tee up” local newscasts, as well as the NPR national news.

Hit ‘listen’ or the ‘play’ icon and off you go with the latest news.

My “followed” show my own preferences or those I have chosen to follow the NPR One recommendations. I can go back to past episodes or listen to the latest.

Recommendations come from the type of programming I’ve indicated an interest in, much like the music preferences offered on streaming music services like Pandora.

For example, Backstory was an NPR recommendation; I listened and decided to follow; same with Embedded, NPR Politics, Popular Culture Happy Hour, Story Colliderand finally,  Planet Money, an old favorite but not on my iTunes podcast list.


You can download each separately to your phone of course, but the game-changer here is that they are, with the current news, all readily accessible and all in one place. It’s a one-stop shop that gives you the latest.


To address the question, “Does she have a life, or does she just listen to podcasts?” I’ll just say these are topics that interest me, they’re not school assignments.

I’ve long been a fan of podcasts; they are welcome companions that inform and entertain during boring stretches of mindless travel, delivering high-quality content, sometimes with humor and always with smart wit.

But, I pick and chose among them.

I like the fact that Pop Culture Happy Hour,  for example, comes in short (and long) doses: like many, I became fascinated with the new Netflix Stranger Things series, so I was interested in the 13-minute interview with the creators, Matt and Ross Duffer.  I’m not sure NPR Politics will stay with me beyond this electoral season.


What’s your view?  Tried NPR One? Have a podcast to share?  Please join the conversation in the comments, below.



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