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Already miss the Old App
I should have known better than to go with the new NPR app that replaced NPR News. There was so much to love about it. Although I do Support my local NPR Station, I also like to browse, including locally produced programs from other parts of the country, which are not carried by my local station. That was easy to do in the old app. I simply brought up the station, and chose an on-demand program. These shows were displayed alongside the live streams. In addition , I could create a Favorites list, and even add items to a playlist for later use. In the new version, all of these features are gone. Now, the only way to get on-demand material from other stations seems to involve changing one’s favorite station; and, even if you do that, you then have to go to a separate On-Demand tab to get such material, and there are fewer choices of podcasts and topics. For instance, on the old app, I could go to WUNC (not my local station), and listen to podcasts from The People’s Pharmacy. Now, even by making that station my favorite, I found very few choices—and The People’s Pharmacy wasn’t one of them. Then, I had to reset my favorite station; then, to get back to where I was (if it wasn’t my local station), I had to go to Recently Streamed, and _hope to find it there. I hope I will grow to like the new app better, but don’t count on it. The reason I even gave it 4 stars is that I’m a huge fan of NPR.
Why is there “already played” list that can’t be deleted?
This is a pointless feature, totally inconsistent with normal app functionality, and is a privacy concern. Why even have this feature? It’s nice that you guys brought back a somewhat functional app but why do you insist on overthinking everything? The old NPR app worked fine, NPR One was deeply overthought (and overwrought) and barely functional and this new NPR app brings in some some of that limited functionality. It seems like it was designed by someone reviewing the corporate description of NPR - obsessive focus on repetitive news that generates local revenue for national NPR, as if it were the 90s and we weren’t able to get a news summary immediately by swiping on our phone - rather than actually providing access to the rich diversity of content available throughout the NPR network. It just doesn’t seem that hard to give people what they want and have clearly asked for for some time. It honestly seems like there are developers “guessing” at what users might want. Why not just ask them if it is so hard? Why waste all this time, money and waning good will creating limited functionality?
Bring the NPR News app back, please
The new NPR app seems designed like the NPR One app, which is really unfortunate. On the old NPR News app, I could create my own playlists, listening to these three stories but not that one. That functionality has all been removed from the new (and certainly not improved) NPR app. Sometimes I might want to listen to most of one day’s All Things Considered program, but would (for example) delete the sports stories because I just don’t care about them. With the change to this new NPR app, it’s not possible to curate my own NPR playlist. It’s frustrating that NPR’s “digital” department thinks that this is what their listeners want. The new NPR app is much less listener-friendly and makes it more difficult to seek out new/interesting content. It is still easy to find Morning Edition or All Things Considered—but it is very difficult to find the off-the-wall and obscure programs produced by smaller NPR member stations across the country. The old NPR News app was great for that. Ugh. I gave up on using NPR One years ago because I didn’t like how that program “decided” for me what it thought I would want to listen to. I was an active user of the NPR News app for years and years. I used the Playlist feature on a daily basis. It was a very frustrating morning to be forced into using this new NPR app that has taken away much of the functionality of the old NPR News app. Please bring the old NPR News app back!
4.x release is useless garbage, bring back the old app!
The latest release is a train wreck. We live for the news and I even used to work for an NPR affiliate, and the 4.0 update has destroyed our relationship with NPR in our home. The old app was crashy, slow and quirky but functional. We love NPR so much we put up with it. We used to listen constantly, curating our own playlist with a few taps on even a 5 year old phone and it worked fine. One day I hear cries from the shower, what happened to the NPR app? I find out there's an update, saw some bad reviews, rushed to turn off automatic updates on my iPhone, but not in time. The fact that the old version is gone without warning and replaced with something missing the only meaningful feature of the app is completely irresponsible. The new app seems to do basically one thing which is to stream some tiny subset of NPR content in a predetermined order without the ability to decide in advance what I listen to while showering, driving, running, etc. This is torture after getting accustomed to the playlist feature for the last several years. I have read every review here and this is basically the consensus about the 4.0 app. I have searched for an alternative, to find nothing. I may write one myself as my next side project. Until then, goodbye NPR, just when we need you most. I beg whoever is in charge to bring back the old app, immediately. Update: Just installed latest version and it crashed on startup. Deleted.
NPR has disabled this app. Why?!
I used to use the NPR app to listen to my favorite NPR programs like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition Saturday and Sunday. As of a few days ago, this is no longer possible. For some reason, NPR has disabled their own app, making it impossible for users to listen to these shows in their entirety. Instead, only four stories from each show are available, and the listener is directed to download a completely different app, NPR One, if you want to hear the rest. Why, NPR? Why would you do this to your listeners? Even if you do go along with this coercion and get the NPR One app, it is still impossible to use it to listen to full episodes of shows like All Things Considered, Weekend Edition Sunday, etc. This is because NPR One lacks a playlist function and only lets you play one story at a time before the app forces you to listen to some other random show or podcast that you have no interest in. NPR app team: please bring back the ability to listen to full episodes of our favorite shows on demand. Why would you do this to your listeners? No one is going to use the NPR One app until you make it possible for us to listen to entire episodes. No one wants “curated” (i.e. random) news, especially if there is no full episode option. Until you fix that terrible NPR One app, can you please restore the original NPR app back to functionality so that your listeners can continue to enjoy our favorite shows?
Terrible app - again. It’s a downgrade, not an upgrade!
After thinking about it overnight, I want to change from 1 star to 0 stars, with following addition to my review: I relied on the podcast playlist for about 75-80 percent of the NPR content I consume. Now you’ve taken that away...this is 2nd time in less than a year you’ve completely disregarded members (forced NPR one migration was first). Whoever is making these decisions needs to go. As noted, I’m a member; but plan to withhold at least 75-80% of my contribution next year as I’ll be consuming a lot less NPR now that app worthless. You’re obviously wasting money, disregarding supporters and making dumb decisions. NPR News app was never glitzy but it was a great app; please bring it back. This new version is as bad as the awful NPR One! I used the old NPR News app to select the stories from Morning Edition or ATC that I may have missed or a Fresh Air interview - just select add to playlist...and a minute later have a line up of 6-12 stories I wanted to hear. Now I have no idea how to create a playlist of just the stories I want to hear. It seems with new app, it’s listen to the whole show or nothing. As I said when we were forced onto NPR One last year - please bring back NPR News....this new app is again a step backward! You listened last time and restored NPR News, hopefully you’ll give us a choice again as I don’t see much use in the new app.
Good at what it does, horrible for the features it left out.
The new app has a better media player, with great pause and fast forward and rewind features and overall is more stable and reliable. That’s the good news. The bad news- they totally did away with the playlist, making it absolutely impossible to save individual episodes and play them whenever you want to. You’re now limited to selecting the current days version of each program, if you don’t listen to the entire program before the next days program comes out, you’re totally screwed, there’s no way to go back and listen to The previous one. Also every time you exit the app and come back it completely forgets where you were in the list of episodes for the days program, you have to basically start all over and manually skip ahead. A lot of wasted of time skipping things I’ve already heard just to get back where I left off listening. It’s basically killed the enjoyment of the app for me and made it nothing but frustrating. I know you guys are trying to force people to listen to the local stations more in order to support them but this is ridiculous. I don’t know who sat down and designed this thing but it seems to have deliberately omitted the very best features of the previous app.
Terrible update, delete app now
The best feature of the old NPR News app was the ability of the listener to create a personal playlist from a menu of stories from various NPR programs. They’ve taken that functionality away. This app is essentially useless to me now, and I’m deleting it. EDIT: eight weeks later, and NPR is making qualified statements about they will “work on building a better queued listening experience for NPR in the months ahead.” Except NPR ALREADY HAD THAT SOLUTION and dumped it, presumably to force listeners to NPR One and local stations. As a result, my NPR listening has declined by 95%, and I did NOT renew my longstanding membership with my local affiliate. Bring back the playlist! EDIT (JUNE 10): I see the developer responded to my earlier review. Refusing to renew my NPR membership is entirely in line with my objection to the removal of the playlist. Local affiliate fundraising provides stations with funds to pay for programming from national NPR, and moreover, one result of the removal of the playlist was to force listeners to the local stations instead of self-curating NPR content through the app. I recognize the importance of local stations, but local stations need to use their leverage to support listeners’ range of options, not reduce them. Until the playlist is restored, we should not contribute to NPR through its member stations.
Awful, bad update. Give us back the old version
Please, please bring back the previous iOS app—it’s SO far superior to the updated version!! The previous version was great; easy to use and useful. A news app doesn’t need a fancy interface, it needs to quickly let users find content. But you’ve traded function for form in the new update, and it’s awful. I’ve used the app (and listened for hours per day, literally) since it launched in 2009, and I couldn’t be more disappointed. I have both an iPhone and a Samsung for work, and now I have to use my work phone to listen because it still has the old version. The previous app made it easy to scroll through stories, but this one has flashy headlines and more pictures substituted for the content users want. All the stories I’d loaded in my playlist to listen on the way to work vanished overnight, and I can’t even create a playlist!! The FOUR favorite stations id saved and listened to frequently are gone and it’s cumbersome to find a live stream. It’s also irritating and cumbersome to find favorite programs. You guys have broken something that didn’t need fixing. Please, please ditch this version and give your loyal users back the previous, actually useful one.
Apparent bug in latest release and request for downloads like a podcast
I’m a big fan of npr and have enjoyed this app. Coinciding with the latest release, however, the app stopped playing all on demand stories in the playlist sequentially, and had to be advanced manually to the next story in the que, despite my selecting the “listen to all stories option.” The “play all stories option” continues to not work and after the end of one story must be advanced manually. This is particular annoying, and a departure from the previous editions. I have deleted the app twice and reinstalled but the app continues to stop after each story. Double clicking my headphones does not advance to the next story either. Therefore, when exercising, driving or other activities having to advance the story manually is a pain. Please fix. My other request would be the ability to download the stories, just like a podcast, so that they could be played when outside of good or no cellular reception.
This app is better than NPR One. . .
And I liked it best until I found weekend edition throttled to 4 stories this morning. My phone is loaded with apps, some of which I use, and I’ve never rated an app before in my life, but this was like a final straw. I’ve used NPR One and thoroughly disliked it before returning to this app. I’ve suffered through the various iterations of this app designed to make everyone switch away from it to NPR One. And now this. If I could get my favorite programs - especially morning and weekend edition - as podcasts that I could hear from my podcast app, I’d happily ditch both of these. I already listen to several other NPR programs that way. These apps are both getting in the way of me enjoying NPR, which I really like on the radio and contribute to financially through my local stations in South Carolina. Change developers or something, or else spend any money going toward app development on something that will meet the standards that NPR usually sets. I’d be very willing to pay for an app that lets me download and listen to playlist content from NPR. Or just make everything available as podcasts and be done with this app stuff. It is not bringing this listener closer to NPR.
Update ruined a great app
It’s true, the NPR news app had it’s probs - you cld only play individual stories, but you cldnt play an entire show. Well, they changed that. But, they also took away the “play” bar, which allowed you to go back over something you might not have heard, or skip over something u don’t care about. Now if u miss something u hve to re-listen to the entire story - or the entire show if you had made that choice (either that or re-listen to the story, but then yr back to listening to individual stories). Basically it takes away some of the flexibility that makes podcasts easier than the radio show - On Demand is nice, admittedly, but considering I’m listening on my phone the ability to go back over stuff i missed was important to me. It used to be a lot more User Friendly too. There also used to be a great many more podcasts available. Now, instead of an easy to read list of dozens & dozens of podcasts, there’s abt a dozen icons instead - idk the logos for NPR shows, so icons take up space while not helping much. There isn’t a Search function neither. I got sold on the update bc of the ability to play the entire show, now I regret it. I might as well just get the NPR 1 app that has all their podcasts.
Miss the old app
I don’t write reviews often, but the disparity between the recently revised NPR app and the old version is too great to ignore. The old app, while less ‘modern’ looking, felt less rigid, more customizable, and less cumbersome to use. The utility I miss the most was the ability to create playlists from stories from various NPR programs into one stream, and have that stream auto-play from one story to another. Now, if one plays an individual story in Morning Edition, for instance, it does not auto-play the next story; one has to go back into the app and manually play the next story or the entire program must be played in order for a “playlist” to be created. It’s cumbersome and sometimes dangerous, particularly while listening on the road. I can fathom that this system forces the listener to listen to 1) more ads (which seem to be auto-generated in between stories and could not be before with self-created playlists), and 2) more stories (forcing the listener to listen the entire program instead allowing the ability to choose). Please bring back the functionality of the old app. I have spent the better half of this morning searching for whether it is possible to reinstall old versions of apps in iTunes.
Updated review: better
So I’m leaving my previous review at the bottom so people know what I’m talking about. I received a developer response asking me to provide them some more info, and I just kept forgetting to respond to it so I never actually gave them additional feedback. But the primary station and crashing issues I gripes about below seem to have been resolved. It’s still not the most intuitive interface, but now I like it better than the old app. It’s been working pretty reliably well for the past week or so. Not my fave app, but solid for my use (which is just listening to my local station in the AM while I get ready for work). Newest version is crazy buggy. I’ve had to search for and set my primary station pretty much daily. Sometimes the search function decides not to work and I need to close and reopen the app. Sometimes the whole deal just freezes and I need to close and reopen the app. Pausing causes it to crash. Dropping the signal causes it to crash. Navigating through the app causes it to crash. Fix them bugs!!
Useless to me without playlist feature
I used the NPR News app every day for years. I queued all the content I cared about when I had time to do so, and then I could return to the app at any point to listen to all those selections I made. It was nearly perfect—the playlist feature in the previous NPR News app was a bit buggy. In the new NPR app, there is no way for me to queue any content, and there is no way to automate playing of content I want to hear. I now simply have to be content with whichever ‘stream’ I’m listening to or be willing to put in a lot of conscious effort to constantly choose the content I want to listen to. I don’t—I switched to an app called News Now, which also does not have the features I want. It does let me stream the day’s national news content without much effort, and that makes it better for me than the new NPR app. Implement a playlist feature in this app. I want to be able to choose any NPR content, especially nationally relevant news segments, to keep in a queue that I can store, return to and choose content from at any time. Until the NPR app has a playlist feature that allows me to do these things, it is useless to me.
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