While radio stations may not be as popular as they once were, there still is a demand for them especially during commute hours on weekday morning and early evenings. In a bid to try and boost their popularity, many radio stations have created apps which allow users to listen to their shows live, as well as catch up on previous shows.
In addition to station exclusive apps, there are now apps available which provide access to multiple radio stations in one place. In short, there are plenty of radio apps available today and in this article we are going to look at the best three that you can download and tell you a little more about each one.
Best UK radio app – ranked
TuneIn Radio is a subsection of the TuneIn app which provides users with access to a huge catalogue of live radio stations. TuneIn itself offers users access to other types of media including sports streams, podcasts and music but its radio coverage is arguably the most impressive of the lot.
When you first log in to the TuneIn Radio app, you will be asked if you want to sign up for their premium service – there is no need to do this if you are only interested in the radio side of things. Once you’ve opted out of that, you will then be prompted to share your location with the app – this is so TuneIn can show you your local stations in addition to the bigger, national stations.
To access your list of radio stations, you need to select the ‘local radio’ tab on the top menu bar on the app’s home screen. From here, you will have see a list of all available local radio stations. If you scroll to the bottom of this page, you will see the option to view all national stations as well, meaning that you aren’t just limited to stations that are within your vicinity. To listen to a live show, simply click on the station of your choice and the app will starting playing it automatically.
If there are any stations that you are particularly fond of then you can add them to your favourites list which just means that you’ll be able to access them even quicker via the ‘library’ section of the app. This section will also keep track of which stations you’ve listened to most recently and store any downloads that you’ve made via the app.
Radioplayer is similar to TuneIn Radio in the sense that it offers users the ability to listen to multiple different radio stations in one place. This is really handy because it means you don’t have to spend time and storage space downloading all the individual apps for your favourite stations.
When you first open the app up and have agreed to the terms and conditions, you will then be navigated to the home screen. From here you can choose to share your location in order to access you local radio stations and also use their on screen alphabet to search for your desired stations. Any radio stations which you favourite during your time on the app (by selecting the heart icon next to a station) will also appear on the home page.
One thing that separates RadioPlayer from TuneIn Radio is the fact that you can also listen to shows on demand via this app. To do this, select the shows tab on the bottom menu bar and then browse the on demand shows which area available to you. To filter down the shows you can search by category – this will allow users to avoid the nuisance of scrolling through shows related to Dance music if they’re only interested in classical music.
One final point to make about RadioPlayer is the fact that it will become more personalised to the user the more you use it. This will be seen through their recommendations on the home screen.
BBC Sounds is a little bit different from the other two apps we’ve spoken about here due to the fact that it focuses solely on the BBC’s radio coverage as opposed to everything in the country. However, it is superb in what it does offer and is well worth a download, in addition to one of the previous two apps that we’ve discussed.
Once you’ve signed in to the app, you will be greeted by a home screen which will offer you the option to listen to some of the best on demand shows from across all of BBC’s radio stations – this includes both national and regional stations. This isn’t just limited to shows focused on music, but also genres such as sport, history and current affairs.
If there is a particular show that you are interested in listening to, or shows within a certain genre at least, then you can use the search function on the bottom menu bar to do just that. If you know the name of the programme then enter in to the search bar or if you’re looking to browse through options then make full use of all of their categories.
Once you’ve found a show that you want to listen to then simply select it and the show will start playing for you. You don’t need to stay on the app to listen, either, which means you can put your phone down or browse through other apps while listening.
If you are looking to listen in live, then select the ‘stations and schedules’ tab on the home screen and find the station and show which you want to listen to. Again, no need to stay on the app – the station will continue playing until your phone dies.
Simple Radio is – as its name suggests – one of the simplest ways to get access to an FM radio station from your mobile. When it comes to free radio apps, it’s not a bad choice as it has access to thousands of different stations for you to choose from – whether it’s Jazz FM, Classic FM or something else that you want to listen to, you should have access to it.
There’s no need to log into Simple to listen to your favourite radio shows, which is one of the main things that users request – quick access with no sign up. As well as this, another big priority is to make sure that sound quality stays consistent with no drops, which the app manages to do pretty well.
The only downside of Simple Radio is that it’s not ad free and there’s no premium version, which can get a little annoying if you’re listening to FM radio on a regular basis. But if you want something reliable that has access to a ton of new stations, then it’s definitely not a bad choice.
To conclude, all three of the apps discussed here are brilliant in their own right. While we would say that there is no point in downloading BOTH of the first two apps, we would absolutely recommend getting one of them downloaded right away if you’re an avid radio listener. Meanwhile, BBC Sounds is just a great all round app that is well worth downloading if you like interesting shows that cover a wide range of topics and genres.
You will need an internet connection to use these FM Radio stations, but the good news is that radio apps don’t use much data. Plus, the majority of stations are free too, which means that you can start listening to your favourite songs without having to purchase an app.