“Radio” to the majority of us seems like an old technology. Nowadays most people only listen to the FM radio occasionally in the car to drain away the mindless hours. And for the younger generation, it is only ever listened to as a last resource after TV, music players and countless other entertainment options.
Admittedly, I don’t listen to the radio as much as I should. Radio shows have a lot to offer, and some of them have really enticed and intrigued me in the past, making me wonder about the world and society as we know them. That’s why I looked for a encouragement to use it more. So I decided to get Nexus 7 to help me and fortunately, I came across TuneIn Radio, a brilliant Android radio app!
In a nutshell, TuneIn Radio is the biggest radio catalogue in the world. With over 70,000 channels from everywhere around the globe you’re definitely going to find a channel for you. Personally, when I first downloaded this app, I was astounded by the amount of stations. After one week my favourites were full up to around twenty different channels and I could listen to everything I wanted with one single tap – a purely thrilling experience.
TuneIn interface when listening to your stations
Using TuneIn Radio
After installing the tiny 3.02MB file, you need to make a TuneIn account, or you can log in using Facebook or Twitter, giving you the ability to share the stations you’re listening to.
The hub for searching
The first page you open will be your hub for finding your desired station. From here you have a range of different options including: Local Radio, Music, News, Sport and Talk. Navigating around all of these is a simple task to achieve. For example, selecting Talk takes me to another massive list of options ranging from general ideas, all the way to radio concerning the US Election. Tapping again on “US Election” brings me to a complete list of everything on radio around this topic. There is also a list of the top stations from all over the world.
Once you select your specific channel, the radio starts playing and that’s really it. However, there are a few extra features which can be accessed by scrolling left and right from the “Playing” page. For example, you can see the Recent stations, a list of channels you’ve just listened to, that makes it easy to hop between them.
Another option is the ability to share to Twitter – my favourite part of the application. From this screen you can join the conversation with other listeners and read everyone else’s recent tweets. Using Twitter every single day has made me embrace social media and being able to use it to communicate with and about my favourite channels is brilliant! I can interact with the DJs and other listeners, and enjoy a great community element
Joining in with the conversation on Twitter
One great addition worth mentioning about TuneIn is the switch to Car Mode. By selecting the down tab at the top and picking car mode you are taken to a completely different interface. As the name suggests, this mode is meant to be used while driving, with your device propped in some kind of car holder. The most significant difference is the buttons which are far bigger making them much easier to use while driving.
The car mode interface
Basically, this page consists of six different buttons. The top big button displays the name of the station and an option to stop it. The four buttons below are used to pick your desired channel. These include: Favourites, a Voice Search, Recents, and your Recommended stations. The final button is just to exit the mode. This button is small and thin near the bottom of the page to avoid the hassle of exiting accidentally.
Some Desirable Extra Features
Something I didn’t mention above was the added options on every single channel. From here you can report a problem, contact a developer and see a complete schedule for the next 24 hours. You also get the option to choose between different stream qualities, with several kbps settings for a lower bandwidth usage, or a better quality.
The options page for each station
My favorite TuneIn option however is the ability to set alarms: it can wake me up at a specific time and start playing my breakfast show. I use this every single day to wake me up at 06:30 with my shows – a great start to any working day! The reason I find this so amazing is that the majority of radio apps depend on a separate app to start the alarm. This is simple, effective and easy.
Where else can you listen to any channels from all over the world on demand? Really, I can’t think of any other app that offers the range of channels, quality of design and options of TuneIn Radio. For any radio listener this app is a must and for those of us who aren’t using it already, you’re definitely missing out!