Radio finds its future: RadioApp now available on Apple CarPlay & Android Auto

This is the best thing to happen to your infotainment system in a long while

My colleagues in the radio industry will most likely disagree with me, but today Radio took a giant leap into the future, announcing Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support for the industry streaming app “RadioApp”.

AM and FM radio stations moved a long way forward less than a decade ago with the launch of Digital Radio (DAB+), adding quality to the broadcast audio, and adding more content with many more stations plus on-screen information.

Sadly, that’s where the innovation and growth ended. Tunnels are still black spots, our regional areas will never get DAB+, and the in-car listening experience is dreadful for those who listen to more than one station (More on that another day).

But when the industry collaborated to create and launch a single streaming radio app into market seven months ago – things looked very positive.

The app allows almost instant access to a vast number of Aussie radio stations both in metro and regional areas, and with simple favourite selection and a great user interface it’s long since replaced TuneIn radio for me.

There was one thing missing though, support for the future of in-car entertainment systems – Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, thankfully, that comes today.

With a simple app update, your phone connected to a CarPlay or Android Auto compatible infotainment system will allow touch-screen access to the app in a driver friendly format.

The stream switching (when changing stations) is lightning fast, the information from each station appears clearly on-screen and all up, it’s a top notch experience.

CEO of the Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) industry body Joan Warner was excited by the update; “Through RadioApp, listeners can easily discover local stations while travelling, access their favourites list, and control the app safely through their connected car dashboard,” she said.

“Consumers today expect freedom and connectivity and we want to make sure they can listen to their favourite local radio stations however they want and wherever they are.”

Since launching late last year, over 140,000 downloads of the app have occurred, and while AM and FM in the car, along with DAB+ are strong, CRA had received strong user interest in CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility

Radio accounts for 80% of in-car listening, which is why Radio needs to sit alongside any innovations in this space, keeping itself front and centre so listener habits can continue even with technological innovation.

Right now, RadioApp via CarPlay and Android Auto are the best in-car radio listening experience you can get. And I listen a lot!

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Tech

Trev produces two of the most popular technology podcasts in Australia, Your Tech Life and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He hosts a nightly radio show on Talking Lifestyle, 8pm Monday to Friday in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show and A Current Affair. Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.

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One Comment
  • Peter Smerdon
    22 May 2017 at 4:07 pm
    Leave a Reply

    Hi Trevor.
    I’m yet to be convinced that streaming is the future for mass media like radio.
    I’m not seeing how it scales to reach the kind of concurrent listenership that radio enjoys.
    A 100kW ERP FM transmitter (or 10kW ERP DAB transmitter) will equally service a thousand people or a million – no infrastructure upgrade needed.

    I’m not seeing how a popular morning or evening drive program adequately can service all their listeners on Melbourne’s Monash Carpark (sorry – Monash Freeway) – or the Sydney equivalent – via streaming.
    Two issues –
    1. The radio station needs to pay for a huge amount of bandwidth (orders of magnitude greater than today). How expensive will this be vs current transmitter costs (remember they can’t just turn off the existing transmitters, so it will be an *extra* cost.
    2. The wireless providers will have to provide extra capacity for the “last mile”
    Is there new technology on the horizon that will solve this, because with current technology it just can’t be done?
    An Akamai-like network of edge streaming servers all around the city.

    I’d love to know if anyone is currently working on solving these issues.

    Cheers.

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