Stitcher is a free app that offers more than 5,000 radio shows, podcasts and live stations on demand, streaming directly to your Android tablet. The app does a great job of streamlining the process of finding radio shows and making them available by category. You can save shows as your favorites and help Stitcher tune to your tastes by liking or disliking shows. It’s like Pandora, but for radio shows.
Though the interface is really clean, and browsing through content is extremely easy, it doesn’t seem like Stitcher has been fully optimized for tablet screens in some aspects. Just remember that if you’re using a 3G connection, Stitcher will use a lot of data. That’s not a concern if you’re on Wi-Fi, and this app is still a great way to listen to the radio from anywhere.
As with most apps, a sign-up is required. For social network eccentrics, Stitcher allows for Facebook sign-in and integration so you can easily notify (or annoy) your buddies with a stream of your latest tunes. For those wary of throwing their information to other companies, you can also log-in with a valid email account. While not totally innovative, Stitcher’s inclusion of a social connection can help you find like-minded listeners.
Upon startup, Stitcher attempts to discover your personal likes by offering you a wide array of genres. From tech to world news, I easily found myself adding stations to my favorites that piqued my interest. You can also browse by specific interest or straight from sources. The amount of talk shows on offer is huge, and there is something for any taste.
Discovering new stations is extremely easy. Aside from browsing the included channels, you can view what everyone else is listening to with the “Front Page” panel. From ‘headline news,’ ‘what’s hot’ and ‘what’s new’ it keeps listeners socially aware. Of course, you can always manually search for your favorite broadcasting show.
Just be aware, as Stitcher uses your wireless provider, the radio podcasts can be a bit of a data guzzler if left unchecked. Tiered data plans may feel the hurt, though music streaming isn’t as large as say, videos. Listening to a station is smooth and clear and I’ve yet to encounter any stutters.
The killer feature that keeps Google’s Listen a step above Stitcher is offline listening. While it’s nothing an update can’t fix, the omission of this can leave you stranded if you’re without a data connection. The addition of offline listening should have been a no-brainer, but Stitcher’s developers managed to drop the ball with this one.
Though not thoroughly intuitive, the app is semi-optimized for tablet. I say “semi” because only the “Front Page” layout has been used to take advantage of the larger screen. What originally was the home page for smartphones is easily laid to the left side of the screen and acts as a toolbar. With the larger space, more stations are shown on the screen. Unfortunately, everything else is left with the phone layout.
If you’re looking for a fresh podcast discovery app, tune in with Stitcher Radio. Though it has some missteps, the ability to discover new shows is incredibly easy.[appbox googleplay com.stitcher.app]