March 18, 2011 at 4:18 PM ET
We have all been horrified — and riveted — by the coverage of what has been happening in Japan, with much of the most dramatic videos coming from NHK, Japan's English-language public broadcasting station/network. That footage is being shared and shown on all major television networks around the world, but if you want to watch it on your own time, you can with a free app for the iPhone.
The app, NHK World TV Live, has been around since last July, but has just been highlighted by Apple in a new section on iTunes called "Stay in Touch: Apps for Communicating and Sharing." As iPhoneGuru.net notes, the section "features 25 different social networking apps," most of them well-known like Facebook, Twitter, Meebo, MySpace, Foursquare and Gowalla.
"But the first item on the list is the most interesting, it’s the NHK WORLD TV Live app that broadcasts the English-language Japanese TV station's programming live 24-7," writes Matthew Panzarino.
The app's developers note that "the visual quality of the contents will differ according to the service connection being used." (You can also use it with Wi-Fi on your iPod Touch.)
I've downloaded the app; it's running now on my phone as I write this (with the phone plugged into a charger). The video is not always the clearest, but it is still incredibly useful — and amazing to be able to have access right in your pocket to such important news on your schedule.
More about technology and Japan's disaster: