Google Play Music

Google Play Music is the most convenient and without an iota of doubt the most popular radio app, boasting more than 1,000,000,000 (that’s 1 billion for those of you scoring at home) installs. It is not a radio app in the conventional way, as it specializes in curated genre stations, on-demand listening, and smart recommendations based on your listening history. Talking of on-demand listening: for a subscription fee of $9.99 per month, over 35 million songs will be at your service, ready to be played and downloaded to ensure offline listening. Google Play Music subscription also gets you a YouTube Red membership, and ad-free, uninterrupted listening.

iHeart Radio

iHeart Radio is a personalization heaven and wholly free-of-charge. It boasts the most-listened-to AM and FM stations from major US cities such as New York or Los Angeles, hosts an assortment of podcasts covering a wide range of topics, live talk shows, news shows, music countdowns, and local radio stations broadcasting live sports events. With the “My Favorites Radio” feature, you can put together your very own and easily sharable radio station with your favorite songs and performers, while the “Perfect For” feature allows you to search for music fine-tuned for everyday activities. There’s nothing better than vacuuming to gangster rap!

iHeartRadio is probably one of the most popular radio apps for Android. When you first start it up you are given the option of creating an account or just looking for stations. The top menu has Live Stations, Create Custom Station, and My Stations, an area where your favorites are kept for easy access. When you access the Live Station section, you can search by station name or location. The local search option uses your phone’s location to find stations. The other option is to search by U.S. city. Finally, you can search stations by genre, which is broken up into talk radio and music & entertainment.

TuneIn Radio – Radio & Music

TuneIn brings you more than 100,000 radio stations from all over the globe, including news, music, sports, and talk radio. TuneIn’s free version lets you stream all radio stations live and in high quality and allows you to tune on-demand to your favorite podcasts and to the live coverage of concerts and sporting events. TuneIn’s premium option, available for $9.99 per month, gets you season-long live play-by-play action from MLB, NLF, and BPL games, a library of over 40,000 audiobooks, and gives you access to more than 600 commercial-free music stations.

TuneIn Radio has a very simple user interface. The top menu has Favorites, Browse and Recordings. The browse button takes you to the main screen that gives you the following areas: Local radio (based on your phone), Recent and Recommended. The radio stations are broken into music, news, sports, talk, location, language, and podcasts. When you go into the music section, then you can select by genre.

Pandora Radio

By now you probably know the power of Pandora. A clever twist on Internet radio where you pick a tune you like and the service creates a “station” of similar music. People rave that this makes a great way to discover new music and artists. By “bookmarking” a song in the app, you build up your profile and educate Pandora on what type of music you like best.

Powered by the Music Genome Project®, said to be the most comprehensive music analysis ever undertaken, Pandora Radio brings you an unprecedented personalized radio experience: as time progresses, the app completely adjusts to your taste, and only plays songs that you are bound to like. You can create personalized stations based on songs, artists, genres, and even comedians, and also browse hundreds of curated stations to find the music that is the best companion for your current mood or activity. With Pandora Radio’s subscription plan – Pandora Plus, $4.99 per month -, you’ll get ad-free listening, limitless skip and replay, and the option to tune in offline.

Slacker Radio

Slacker offers customizable stations like Pandora but also features specially programmed stations run by staff members. These pre-programmed stations cover a wide range of music genres and are generally a huge hit with Slacker listeners. You can vote for a favorite song or block one you don’t like. Like Pandora, you can see album art and artist bio info and you can share music you like over email or text. Slacker offers a paid “Radio Plus” subscription that adds features like unlimited skipping of songs, lyrics, and no ads.

Slacker Radio offers over 150 music stations to enjoy on your Android. Choose from lots of different genres to really narrow down the exact kind of tunes you want to hear, and Slacker will play your selected genre quickly and efficiently. Tapping on the artist will bring up information about them, plus album reviews. Tracks can be easily skipped and you can even create your own custom stations with only the artists you want. For free, this app offers a lot of nice options, but to truly get the most out of it, a Slacker Radio Plus or Slacker Premium Radio subscription is necessary. With these, you’ll be able to view lyrics, create custom playlists, cache stations for listening without an Internet connection and more. Still, even at its most basic level, Slacker is good way to discover expertly-programmed music you’re sure to enjoy.

KCRW Radio

Just like Randy Newman, I love LA. What’s not to love? Perfect weather, beautiful beaches, gorgeous women, delicious food, killer movie theaters and great radio stations. Now, you don’t have to wish every radio station could be a California station, you can just download KCRW for Android, and stream a real one.

KCRW hosts National Public Radio for the Los Angeles region, from Santa Monica College. It plays a fresh mix of NPR news, music and arts programming. Many listeners find it indispensable, and are cheering the release of an Android version of their mobile app. The app features three streaming channels – On Air Now, Music Channel and News Channel – which offer content matching their names. If you don’t like what’s on, switch to On Demand, where you can browse through archives from each channel. You’ll find famous artists covering many music genres there. And, the News shows from KCRW – To the Point, Left, Right, and Center, and Which Way, LA? – span politics, art and other hot topics for Southern California and the nation.

Overall, it’s a fantastic station that you can take with you anywhere, even if you live nowhere near LA. Sure, there are many other streaming radio apps out there, but this one-station app offers more quality programming than a dozen other mediocre stations put together.

Live365 Radio

When you first start the Live365 Radio app, you can type in what you are looking for or browse through the 23 genre they have listed. Within each genre, there are a number of options from which to choose. Once you have made a selection, a list of the appropriate stations will appear. When a song begins, you can get information on the station and the song. With each song you will be able to like/dislike it, make it a favorite or share with others via Facebook, Twitter and email.

The app is very straightforward and has a few options to it. You can set the streaming mode, the buffer settings (5-25 sec), and the connection quality. You can change the app theme and even scan Livio devices via Bluetooth. There is also a corresponding website. The app features banner ads and radio ads. You can get rid of these by becoming a VIP.

Stitcher Radio – News & Talk

When the Stitcher Radio app begins you will be asked to log-in. You can register with Facebook or with an email address. The main reason to use Facebook is so you can share with friends. If you want to listen on the Stitcher website, you will need to log-in there also. You will be asked to select three topics of interest. Based on your interests, the app will create a favorites station which is made up of seven different stations. Once that is done, then you can hit the main screen. Here you have four options: On Demand Shows, Live Radio, Front Page and My Favorites. The custom station that was initially created will be under My Favorites.

The Live Radio section will allow you to search for nearby stations, browse Internet-only stations, or by state, and then city. On Demand Shows section will allow you to search by interest or sources. The Front Page section is the news in various sound bytes. The app does not have a lot of options but you can setup notifications, play your favorites when you start the app, enable sharing, and play new only (probably for programs). The app is ad supported.

XiiaLive – Internet Radio

Xiialive is powered by Shoutcast. Overall, the app has a very minimalistic look to it. The main screen has all the buttons you will need to access: Top hits, Genre, Search, Favorites, Tags, History, Settings and Player. When you select a button, the menu will move to the top of the screen. The app is pretty much set up to find stations via a genre, not location. Once you find a station you like, add it to your favorites to find it quickly. The app has a ton of settings. You can set an alarm, turn animations on/off, set to have full screen, and determine the screen timeout. With the app itself you can change the theme, scan options, Bluetooth, stream settings, buffering length, even backup and restore your preferences. If you need help setting up the app, there are videos online. The free version is supported by banner ads but you can remove them with the pro version.