Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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In a pre-smartphone existence, I mostly used my phone as a convenient portable radio. Despite its many wonders, when I first got an iPhone I was a little disappointed to lose that feature. Until the advent of apps that meant I could still listen to the radio. ANTENNA Free is one such tool and despite a few playback issues, it’s pretty useful for always being able to find something interesting to listen to.
ANTENNA Free likes to gravitate towards potential local stations, but you’re far from restricted to them. The splash screen offers up the time, date, and brief weather forecast, along with a cute animation that you can manipulate. Plus, there’s the all-important radio station information along with song listings, where possible.
You can quickly switch to all kinds of stations via the relevant button. ANTENNA Free offers up everything from Reggae to the latest political news and some old-fashioned easy listening. It’s all organized by genre, meaning it’s simple to pick out something depending on your mood. You can add favorites too, meaning you don’t have to search around for them again, plus there’s a recent history section.
At times, I found some of the stations I tapped on wouldn’t load, but the vast majority do work just fine, and you’re not short of options. You don’t need to have the app constantly open either, with the lock screen displaying everything much like if you were listening to your playlist.
There’s the added benefit of an alarm feature, meaning you can be woken by a particular station if you want. A sleep timer means you can fall asleep to it as well.
I noticed my iPhone get a little hot while using ANTENNA Free, but not to an uncomfortable level. In terms of finding new audio content, it’s quite appealing despite its few minor issues.