Streaming your music library through Spotify, connecting your musical tastes through last.fm, audiobooks and podcasts, there’s an awful lot to listen to, and given that the iPhone came from a long family of iPods, it’s not surprising.
But! Apple have never included an FM radio into their phones. We’re sure that factoring in an FM aerial could mess with their design sensibilities, but several Android phones seem to manage it without looking like they’ve taken a beating from the ugly stick.
It’s meant that, so far, apps had to do the leg work, and there are now a lot of radio apps out there, so we’ve tried a lot of them, and sieved out our favourites.
TuneIn FM, to the right, is iTunes’ top-selling radio app, and generally never leaves the Top 20 paid-for apps chart, and it’s easy to see why; the app is quick to boot up and quick to stream, even on a 3G network.
It’ll also give you a tiny blurb on what’s currently playing, and a little picture of the DJ or show.
As long as we were within reception, the radio stream never dropped on us- the same can’t be said of a lot of freebie radio apps. Well worth buying.
In the Pure Lounge app, alongside over 16,000 radio stations around the world, there’s a load of “listen again” content available.
Search options are a bit limited if you’re looking for a more international flavour. If you search by language , your choices are English or Welsh. The good news is that there is a huge selection of stuff from the Beeb is available here. Given that you can’t “listen again” from BBC’s own website if you’re using 3G, it’s a cheeky way of getting BBC radio again while on the move.
Pure Lounge also has a whole library of background noises- we now work to “Lively restaurant”.
Taking a few style hints from Tron, allRadio, on the left, is a radio app that’s trying to look a little different.
The main part of the app looks less an organised list, more a traditional-looking radio player, the display has a range of buttons to change radio station, search, and favourites.
Tilt your phone to its side and it’ll turn into a bright blue alarm clock. (You can even set the phone to use the radio app as an alarm, or put it onto a sleep timer- though we found its behaviour a bit erratic, we wouldn’t trust it to wake ourselves up.)
Internet Radio Box is currently for sale at 59p for a limited time. For that 59p, you can pause and resume live radio, and access both ShoutCast and Icecast radio directories.
If there’s an error with the radio signal, this app will automatically try to reconnect. Stations can be found by genre, country or by searching by keyword the 40,000 plus stations available.
If you’re looking for more music apps, check out our favourite music apps on the iPhone