We all love to listen to music on our mobile devices and thanks to the vast majority of sources we can get it from it's not difficult to find something that you like. When it comes down to getting your music you can get it from a load of different places, you can stream it from Google Music, RDio, Spotify or you can purchase it from the Play Store, Amazon or other online stores. With such choice does this leave a spot for the humble radio? I think it does and if you read on you can find out why one app might make the radio a feature in your life, once again.
Description: Internet Radio is an application that, as its name suggests gets you listening to around 50,000 radio stations from all over the world. There are a good many apps that will allow you to stream radio but, this one does it all and it does it in style. Internet Radio is designed to listen to the radio just like you would have done years ago but, with the help of all the modern advances available to you. This isn't just another app that you can stream certain station though, oh no, this app will turn your phone into a bonafide radio of old that does everything you could want it to - you can listen to streams whilst the app isn't open and you can control the app through dials and switches if you so wish. If you want to listen to the radio on your phone, then this is the app for you. Read on to find out why!
How it Works: It's just a simple install from the Play Store, a sign-up to a license agreement and then you're ready to go. There's little to worry about when it comes to the license agreement - you should know what record companies are like by now. After you open the app up you'll be greeted by Internet Radio's main screen which is reminiscent of what you might find in the possession of your parents but, this is a very clever way to approach such a thing. You can turn up the volume or brightness using sliders on the right of the screen. There's also a sleep timer as well, allowing you to set however long a time you want the radio to be on for - this is perfect for someone like myself who'll be using it with a speaker dock.
When you want to choose a radio station simply press the "CH+" labeled button towards the bottom of the screen. This then lets you pick a radio station and it would now be a good time to go into how many stations there are for you listen to. I mentioned that the app gives you access to around 50,000 radio stations but, it's only when you see the list for yourself that you being to see just how many stations are on offer to you here. Basically, if it's on the internet - it's in this app.
A nice feature for me was seeing that the app had assigned me 5 favorite stations automatically, most were BBC Radio stations - fitting choices and many of them ones I'd make myself.
There are so many ways in which you can sort through the vast stations on offer, you can go through them by Country or by Top 100 which, curiously enough shows us that the app is very popular in South Korea - perhaps their LTE is a little faster than ours? The ability to sort through them by Country seems an obvious one but, this is a real nice touch if you're away from home and want some home comforts.
Whenever you're listening to a station you can close the app any time and it'll put an item in your notification tray telling you what you've got streaming:
You can theme this front panel as well, there are two designs to choose from and I'm a big fan of the default retro appearance:
Everything about the app is geared to give you an experience as close to listening to an actual radio as possible, when you choose a station to connect to, the app will present you with a tuning animation and some fuzzy sound going on in the background. Brilliant.
Opinion: I've been a fan of radio since I was little and while I might only be 21, as I grew up, radio began to seem less and less important to me. In the last couple of years though, radio has made its way back into my life, sometimes its the easiest way to get some good music up and going and often there are some really funny segments on UK radio that I absolutely love to listen to. I've tried streaming radio before, my music player on Ubuntu has this built in but I never cared to use it. With Internet Radio on Android however, the experience was so seamless and so polished that it's become a regular thing for me and as I have numerous Bluetooth speakers throughout the house it's brilliant for when I'm cooking or when I'm working. It's a brilliant application that's a lot of fun and brings back memories of using the radio.
- Speed (4/5) - How fast stations connect and stream is dependant on your network but, the app itself is fast and smooth with no hassle.
- Features (5/5) - You might think that a hundred apps have been here before but here, there is a lot on offer, all wrapped up in a whole lot of polish.
- Theme (5/5) - Top marks here for making an app that is both quaint and functional, often form gets in the way but here, it just adds to the function.
- Overall (5/5) - I've really enjoyed my time with Internet Radio and I can see myself listening to a lot more radio, and more stations because of it.
- Stunning theme throughout the app makes it nicer than ever to find something to listen to.
- With so many station on offer - from throughout the world - there's something you want to listen to.
- Easy to use UI is important for an app like this and Internet Radio acts just like, well, a radio.
- A better name for the app would help it attract more attention, name change is scheduled in the future.
- More themes for the radio would make the app more appealing