While doom-and-gloom opinions about the end of radio have been floating around since the dawn of television, there’s something to be said about being able to appreciate and enjoy a distinctly aural medium.
Don’t get me wrong, I love television and print as much as the next person, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t have a certain soft spot in my heart for the medium that truly kicked off the digital media revolution.
Granted, the iHeartRadio app might not be particularly revolutionary — what with FM/AM radio apps being popular on both iOS and Android — but it’s incredibly useful for those individuals looking for a comprehensive, branded download.
The app itself is mercifully barebones. After you create an account and sign in, the app prompts you to choose from a list of genres and — using your location data — creates a list of recommended radio stations. Users can save their favourite stations, search for new stations from across North America, listen to the radio and that’s pretty much it.
The app obviously doesn’t use a device’s built-in radio transmitter — as not all phones have a built-in transmitter that can receive FM and AM signals — and instead streams audio over Wi-Fi and data.
Having used the app for a single hour-long commute, I can report that the app doesn’t consume that much data at all. An hour of use drained roughly 20MB, but that was without any station switching.There is, however, one final feature of note: podcasts. It goes without saying that the app isn’t as robust as something like PocketCasts, The iHeartRadio app can search and save podcasts, but that’s about it — there’s no downloading here.
Still, the app pulls in a hearty catalogue of podcasts from around the world, and when used in conjunction with something like Google Play Music — which offers a healthy catalogue of podcasts itself — the app often fills in missing gaps.For instance, the Nintendo Power Podcast — Nintendo’s new official podcast — isn’t available on Google Play Music yet. It is, however, available for streaming on the iHeartRadio app.