NPR on the iPhone : Inside NPR hasn't built a single app for the iPhone, but NPR content already has a giant presence there. Who's building all these apps, and why?

NPR on the iPhone

Ever since NPR launched an API last July, a number of developers have rushed to build free applications that make public radio content available on a variety of devices, especially the iPhone. From generic podcast players to the NPR Station Finder, these apps are all competing to offer the best experience for consuming NPR content.

These apps all have something else in common: not one of them was built or sponsored by NPR. Instead, they are the work of NPR fans who wanted to make a unique gift to the community of public radio listeners. Like the monetary gifts that thousands of listeners make to their local public radio station each year, these gifts of custom applications help to share the public radio experience with new generations of listeners.

One of my favorite applications is NPR Addict, which makes more than 13 years of NPR content available on the iPhone. Developed by Bradley Flubacher, a professional coder who moonlights as a volunteer firefighter, NPR Addict features podcasts and streams from NPR stations across the nation. Flubacher continues to update the app, in spite of his busy schedule, and every few months I notice another feature that keeps me glued to my iPhone for the weekend.

To all the Flubachers of the world, we at NPR want to say thank you. Thank you for your time, your innovative spirit, and for sharing our love of public radio.