10.02.2010

Android App Review: TuneIn Radio - Better than FM Radio

TuneIn Radio for Android by RadioTime
You know you're a blogging geek when you can't wait to write about a new discovery. For me, this occurred with TuneIn Radio. A few weeks ago, my wife and I took a road trip to Michigan, and on our way back, we wanted to tap into a local Chicago station that was playing the top songs of the 90's (Yes, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was #1). Our car radio wasn't picking up the station, so we looked for alternatives through our Android phones. My wife was able to find TuneIn and we successfully tuned into the countdown until the signal became available again. However, it wasn't until today's bus ride home that I realized the true capabilities of this packed app.

On my way home today, I wanted to listen to the Northwestern - Minnesota football game. I knew that the local NU station (WNUR 89.3 FM) would be available on the FM Radio app which I occasionally use. Sure enough, opening the app and tuning to 89.3, I was able to hear a bit of the action. However, as the bus ride progressed, the reception deteriorated, so I needed another option. Upon opening TuneIn for the first time since our vacation, I realized that TuneIn features not only FM stations but also AM stations, which immediately makes it more valuable than the native FM app. Of course, this depends on your cellular signal as opposed to the FM app.  However, reception was loud and clear for the duration of my listening session.

As I was listening to WGN-AM 720 for the game, I explored the app further, and was amazed at all of the stations that were available. I've experienced several Radio apps on my iPhone, but I don't recall having the selection that TuneIn offered (I did discover that TuneIn is also available for the AppStore for your iPod/iPhone). To access all of those stations, you can set presets, choose by location, or explore categories such as music, talk, and sports. For Sports, I was able to see a wide range of available games, including the NU-Minnesota game that I was searching for.

Additional proof that this app is very polished can be found in the app's ability to view what's currently playing on the station prior to choosing, a complete schedule for programming, and the option to choose from multiple available streams. If you haven't downloaded TuneIn for Android yet, I strongly recommend you give it a try. Although you can sync your presets with an online account through a service called Radiotime, TuneIn does not require any account setup to use the application. TuneIn is available for free (ad-supported) or for $1.99 (without ads) in the market.

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4 comments:

Jessica said...

Does this app require you to be online streaming, or does it use built in hardware like a true radio? Thanks.

David Chan said...

I believe online streaming only and it does not use the hardware radio. That being said, I found the signal better than the hardware radio even on 3G only at times, though it should be noted that I'm in Chicago where 3G coverage is above average.

Babu Tunk said...

Works like a charm even on GPRS/EDGE connection. No need of WiFi, 3G or 4G.
Yes better than the hardware radio.
Must have on your Android device.

David Chan said...

Thanks Babu! That's awesome to hear that it works even on EDGE. I don't commute as much, so I haven't used the app recently, but I'm sure it's still a must-have as you mentioned.

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