To its great credit, Pandora refuses to go gentle into that good night despite the recent competition from iTunes Radio (not to mention other competitors such as Google Play Music). To that end, the venerable streaming music site updated its iOS app today to support using Pandora stations as alarm clocks rather than the default tones you get with the iPhone.
It's a good year to be a music lover. Earlier this year Apple gave us iTunes Radio as a worthy alternative to popular services like Pandora and Spotify, and today Google finally released its native Google Play Music app for iOS. Whereas Apple's design for iTunes Radio seems to mimic Pandora, Google Play takes a tack that's more reminiscent of Spotify, but with the welcome option to add all the music files from your computer and play them in the Cloud.
From its days as a pedestrian tab in Music to its clunky, crashy standalone app, Apple has never given podcasts the attention they deserve. A number of top-notch developers have expertly picked up Apple's slack, so when we heard that the makers of the popular RSS reader Feed Wrangler had taken a crack at it, we naturally couldn't wait to check it out. There are essentially three main things that make up a decent podcast app: clean navigation, easy discovery, and seamless listening. Pod Wrangler dutifully checks off each of these boxes, with an utterly simple approach that gives it a leg up on its competitors.
Radio isn’t dead yet, but it has evolved to be something that you listen to on your own terms, picking and choosing programs to check out at your convenience. AGOGO gets this, bringing you personalized audio programming with a slick interface and a number of curated channels. It pulls in the latest radio and newswire archives, podcasts, your local and online music collections, and other audio selections across many different areas, establishing itself as an excellent one-stop shop for your mobile listening needs.
Eton's FRX3 is a jack of all trades. It's a radio, with AM, FM, and NOAA weather bands. It's an LED flashlight. It's an alarm clock. It's a portable speaker. You can power it with three AAA cells, the hand crank, the built-in solar panel, or by plugging it into a USB port or AC adapter (a cable is included, but the AC adapter is not). Oh, and the internal rechargeable battery can charge your iPhone too.
If Jony Ive designed a Bluetooth speaker, it might look like this. Then again, if Jony Ive designed a soup can, it might look like this. The HiddenRadio blends into its surroundings, with no visible buttons or controls. You twist it on its sturdy base to reveal the speaker, and control the volume the same way: more speaker showing means louder music, and you just twist it all the way closed to turn it off. It connects via Bluetooth 2.1 or a hidden aux-in jack, and we got the best results leaving the audio device at around 80 percent volume, and then fine-adjusting by twisting the HiddenRadio.
It’s been an interesting week in the tech world, particularly for fans of “personalized reader” apps who now have a trio of solid choices that work on screens small and large (thanks to the new Google Currents and both Zite and Flipboard going universal on the iPhone). Hey, maybe you’re even reading this right now from your Currents app -- if so, you probably want to get on with the day’s news, so here’s the best and brightest from Friday, December 9, 2011.
Donna Summer put it best when she said that love is found on the radio. And sure, in this generation we've got stations like Pandora and Last.FM, but those stations ask us to dictate what it plays. The radio's best feature was just that: the way it could spontaneously change our moods based on the next song the DJ'd decide to play. With that, here are three free apps to help take you back to that time before the iPod was permanently tethered to your car stereo and you kicked the good ol' FM radio to the curb.
We haven't listened to the radio in years. Often there are more commercials than songs, and blocks of commercials can last forever. Then you get to hear the same twenty hit songs over and over. If you live in a city with great radio, you're lucky, as media consolidation homogenizes everywhere else.
People complained that the iPhone didn't have an AM/FM tuner in it, but what if your radio wasn't just limited to your immediate area? What if you could spin that dial and tune in to stations all over the globe? If you're a radio aficionado, that's an app worth having.
If you’re a fan of old-fashioned terrestrial radio, you’ve probably already discovered ooTunes Radio, one of the biggest and best iOS apps that pulls in live AM/FM broadcasts from over 150 countries -- and thanks to a new 4.0 update, looks good on the iPad while doing it.