There are hundreds of apps that make it easy to listen to your favorite music anywhere, including streaming apps, apps that enable you to watch music videos, and apps that focus on helping you create and share playlists of your favorite songs. But if you’re the kind of music fan who sometimes likes to kick back and listen to something without having to make half a dozen decisions before getting to the music, then a radio app may be a great addition to your iPhone or Android smartphone. Read on for 12 great radio apps that are perfect for listening to your favorite music, catching up on the news, or tuning in to your favorite shows even when you don’t have a traditional radio on hand.
1. Apple Music
While you might not think of Apple’s new streaming service as a top destination for a radio app, the Beats One radio service is a pretty compelling option. Beats One offers 24/7 radio with live DJs and hosts, plus a wide variety of stations for just about every type of music you can imagine. And if part of the reason why you’re looking for a radio app is to catch up on the latest news in between tunes, there are stations for top news organizations like NPR and the BBC. While you might not want to spend $9.99 each month on a standalone radio app, the subscription fee also gives you access to the full functionality of Apple’s streaming service, too. Apple Music is available on both iOS and Android.
Earbits is the perfect radio app for people who love discovering new music. The Earbits team aims to curate the best independent music from around the world, along with high-resolution photos, live show information, band merchandise, and social features that enable you to share your favorite music with your friends. The app can offer you music recommendations based on the music that you have saved on your phone, and you can like your favorites to build a library within the app. Earbits eschews ads, commercials, and subscription fees, and users can earn credit by supporting artists to earn unlimited on-demand listening and rewards. Earbits is available on Android, iOS, and on Google Chrome.
3. Google Play Music
Google Play Music is a free, curated radio app that aims to play the perfect music for what you’re doing, how you’re feeling, or what you want to hear. You can start radio stations instantly based on songs, artists, or albums, or browse by genre, mood, activity, decade, and other factors. The app gives you access to 35 million songs on-demand and ad-free, and you can download anything and listen even when you’re not connected. You can also discover and subscribe to podcasts, and you can add up to 50,000 songs from your computer and use the app to stream them anywhere for free. Google Play Music is available on Android, iOS, and on the web.
iHeartRadio is a popular radio app, and for good reason. The app enables you to discover the best live radio stations from across the country, while the Artist Radio feature enables you to listen to music based on a favorite artist or song. You can create and share a personalized station with the My Favorites Radio feature, and use the Music Perfect For functionality to find music that’s suited to your mood or activity. The app will also recommend stations for you, and you can use iHeart Radio to listen to your favorite podcasts on-demand. The iHeartRadio app is available on Android, iOS, and on the web.
If you’re all about finding the right DJ when you listen to the radio, then you need a radio app that enables you to find and follow your favorite DJs and presenters, and get notified about new uploads. Mixcloud focuses on helping you listen to the best music shows and features an extensive collection of radio shows, podcasts, and DJ mixes. You can discover music and talk shows, set up a queue that you can play anywhere, find shows based on genre or what’s trending, and browse charts and staff picks. Mixcloud’s radio app is available on iOS, Android, or you can listen on the web at home or at the office.
If you’re hoping to use a radio app to stay up to date on the news on your morning run or your commute, then Newsbeat could be a great fit. The app enables you to have great news articles from the web read to you. The stories are hand-picked from top websites and narrated by voiceover professionals. This unique radio app offers a twice-daily podcast of the web’s most informative and entertaining stories, all from quality news organizations without unnecessary sensationalism or deceptive headlines. You can pick your favorite news sections, receive daily email news digests, and share articles with your friends. The Newsbeat app is available on Android and iOS.
If you’re at all interested in internet radio, Pandora likely needs no introduction. But if you haven’t used Pandora before, or if you haven’t used it on a smartphone yet, then it bears mentioning as a radio app well worth considering. The Pandora app enables you to discover new music, starting with just one of your favorite genres, artists, composers, or songs. You can create up to 100 personalized stations and explore hundreds of genre stations. Pandora is available on Android, iOS, and on the web.
If you already have some favorite radio stations, but are less than thrilled with the hassle of having to tune in to your favorite shows when they’re being broadcast, then you should consider downloading Recast. The app enables you to listen to the playlists of your favorite stations without the usual inconveniences and interruptions. The idea is to give you the best parts of radio with the convenience of a streaming service, which means that you can skip the tracks you don’t like, save the ones you do, and stop having your listening interrupted. To listen, you’ll need to connect a Spotify Premium or Rdio Unlimited account. Recast is available on iOS and on the web.
9. Slacker Radio
Slacker is a popular radio app that offers users millions of songs and hundreds of expertly curated stations. You can stream music from anywhere, or subscribe to get the option to download music and listen offline. Slacker’s curators create music programming including weekly countdowns, top genres, artist-hosted programs, and exclusive hosted shows. You can create and share your own custom radio stations, and access unique interactive news and sports programming. Slacker is available on iOS, Android, Windows, and even Amazon.
Spotify is another name you’ve certainly heard if you’re the kind of smartphone user to go looking for a great radio app. Spotify is both a streaming service and a radio app in one, and offers users access to more than 30 million songs, which enables you to play your favorites, discover new tracks, and build your collection. You can access Spotify playlists, which are created for every mood and genre; search for exactly what you want to listen to; browse the latest charts, releases, and playlists; or sit back and enjoy Spotify’s Radio functionality. You can tune into existing stations or create your own based on a favorite artist or song. Spotify is available on iOS, Android, Windows, and on the web and desktop.
Stitcher may be the perfect radio app for you if you like radio for more than just music, and want an easy way to stream both radio shows and podcasts on-demand, without downloading or syncing. The app enables you to listen to more than 40,000 shows and podcasts, to create your own radio and podcast playlists, and to discover new radio shows and podcasts. Stitcher is available on Android, iOS, and on desktop.
12. TuneIn Radio
Our final pick is TuneIn Radio, an app that enables you to listen to more than 100,000 live radio stations, as well as on-demand podcasts and shows. Whether your ideal radio app would let you zone out to great music, catch the game, or stay up to date on the latest news, TuneIn is up to the task with what it claims is the “largest selection of free sports, music, talk & news radio from around the world.” You can follow your favorite stations, shows, and podcasts, and listen to your favorite stations any time. TuneIn Radio is available on Android and iOS.