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Official VOA PNN Application Released for iPhone and Android

On the heels of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Net Freedom speech, Intridea was delighted to receive notification Apple had approved the official iPhone application we developed for Voice of America’s (VOA) Persian News Network (PNN).

This new application gives Iranians a unique opportunity to get the latest news on their mobile devices and to share with the world the news as it happens in their country,” said Acting PNN Director Alex Belida. “It is a groundbreaking way to expand our reach inside Iran and deepen our relationship with a key VOA audience.”

Following Iran’s troubling elections in the Summer of 2009, the Senate aptly passed the Victims of Iranian Censorship (VOICE) Act, which provided much needed funding and support to the Broadcasting Board of Governors to expand Farsi language broadcasting into Iran by the Voice of America’s Persian News Network.

This application empowers Iranians at a time when the government is staging a crackdown against opposition protesters, Mr. Belida said. As with the disputed elections [last] year, VOA’s Persian service continues to be a leading source of news and information for Iranians.

In this video, Hamed Behravan, Sr. VOA Correspondent showcases the newly released mobile application to millions of Iranian television and web-based viewers, on his weekly Technology Roundup segment.

Built under the technical leadership of Brendan Lim, Intridea’s Director of Mobile Solutions, the application is designed for iPhone and Android Devices, and features the ability to read the latest VOA News Stories and share them through Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail. Users can also keep up-to-date with the VOA PNN’s Twitter feed (@voapnn). Additionally, “the application allows users to anonymously report news accompanied with either an image or video captured directly from their mobile device” says Lim; “enabling a new wave of citizen journalism.”

Intridea is dedicated to supporting Gov 2.0 projects and programs that promote human rights, uphold democratic principles, and strengthen civil institutions. In the case of the VOA PNN App, we have been given an opportunity to create a platform that extends the Iranian people the freedom of speech — in real-time.

Many important security measures were considered to operationally defeat or circumvent censorship and/or surveillance of content created, shared or stored by users. And with future guidance from the VOA & US State Department, Intridea plans to develop other sophisticated transmission techniques to counter the Iranian government’s use of filtering systems, and general stranglehold of internet & mobile transmissions.

The VOA PNN application was built using Appcelerator’s Titanium Mobile platform. Using Titanium Mobile, we were able to create an application for both, iPhone and Android, using just a single codebase. Also, Titanium Mobile allowed us to develop these native applications using only HTML, CSS, and JavsScript, which greatly reduced the amount of development time.

Here’s how to get it:

On iPhone or iPod Touch
You can download it directly from the App Store. You can also find it by searching for ‘VOA PNN’.

On jailbroken iPhone or iPod Touch
If you have a jailbroken iPhone, you can find the application through Cydia or Rock. The application is listed under the BigBoss source, which is included by default on both of these applications. Just do a search for ‘VOA PNN’ to install the application.

On Android
The application is listed under News & Media in the Android Marketplace. You can also search for ‘VOA PNN’ to install it.

The Android version features the same functionality as the iPhone version. However, since Google doesn’t officially support the Farsi language, users who wish to use the app on their Android devices will have to add Farsi character support on their own. To install Farsi on your Android device, check the links below.

Stay tuned for more.

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