News should be accessible for everybody in the world, and the United States Federal Government agrees with this statement. This is why just before World War II, the Voice of America was brought into existence. This news service makes news from the United States available for anyone in the world.
Starting out as a radio broadcast, the Voice of America has grown with time, and now the company has made the VOA app, which brings local and international news to your iOS device in over 40 different languages and dialects.
The VOA app mainly focuses on political news, which is the only kind of news that is very subjective. Most news broadcasters focus on their own political views, which can change the tone of the news in a very impactful way. The VOA, however, is very objective, and will bring the news as it is.
The news is mainly aimed at people in other countries, so I am sure there is some kind of propaganda involved in the message the app sends, but as far as I can see it’s by far not as bad as, say, Fox News.
In between the political news pieces, some really lighthearted news pops up, such as entertainment news and environmental articles. The news is divided in different categories, which you can easily navigate using the side bar.
The app is designed to be very user-friendly. When booting up the app you can instantly choose your language, most of them in different characters compared to English. Most options not only have an icon, but also a word that explains what they do. You can easily change the font size if you need to and a handy search function allows you to search the news within the app.
If you find a particular interesting article, you can choose to share it via Facebook or Twitter, and you can choose to send it in an email as well. You can also mark articles as favorite, so they’re easy to find on a later date. You can also submit news from within the app; you can send in photos and videos, audio, or text.
The VOA app is fantastically designed. Not only does it support over 40 languages and dialects, it is also easy to use and looks great. Sharing features are implemented well, and the option to upload news stories and media can help you shape the news. I feel the news reported within this app is very United States-focused, but it feels very objective, so there is not much propaganda to be spotted here. Especially for developing countries, or countries where news might not be readily available, this app might help people to get the news they crave. The app is designed for both iPad and iPhone and requires just under 8 MB.