We use cellular and Wi-Fi connections to watch online videos, talk to our friends and family, read the news, and listen to the radio. When combined, these activities can quickly eat up your monthly mobile data allocation. Fortunately, you can save many precious megabytes by listening to local AM and FM radio stations using your cell phone’s FM receiver, or install the best radio apps for android.
Using Your Cell Phone’s FM Receiver
You may not know it, but your smartphone likely has an FM receiver. “The reason you can’t currently access this smartphone feature is because some wireless carriers are opting not to turn on the FM chip for U.S. customers,” explains Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Unfortunately, there’s no way for you as an individual customer to activate the FM receiver in your smartphone on your own. Instead, your wireless carrier must decide to activate FM chips on all devices on their network. Public broadcasting stations, such as Oregon Public Broadcasting, have been successfully advocating to bring FM reception to all carriers, but there’s still some work that needs to be done—and you can help. If you are a Verizon or Apple customer, pick up your smartphone and contact your carrier. Explain why it’s important for them to unlock the FM chip in all smartphones they sell. With enough people loudly banging on the companies’ front doors and voicing their disagreement with their baseless policies, the management is guaranteed to notice.
Those who already have a device with an unlocked FM chip can simply download and test our top 5 best radio apps for Android.
Best Radio Apps to Listen to Local AM/FM Radio with or Without Using Data and Wi-Fi
iHeartRadio is hand’s the best radio streaming app for Android users. It offers a wide variety of features that make it stand out from the competition. The app has a clean, easy-to-use interface that utilizes a panel-based grid, and recently added a slick-looking Dark Mode for its Android and iOS apps. It also offers live, free radio streams, with local stations listed first, and the ability to narrow your listening options by genre.
iHeartRadio also offers two premium plans: iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio All Access. The $4.99-per-month iHeartRadio Plus tier serves up live radio, unlimited skips, full access to the company’s podcast library, the ability to replay the last three songs, and on-demand song and album playback.
The $9.99-per-month iHeartRadio All Access package adds artist station caching and offline playback, as well as the ability to create unlimited playlists. It also features tech that recognizes tracks from live radio and lets you save their artist station equivalents.
In addition, iHeartRadio has dozens of artist stations, more than 20 genre stations, and more than 400,000 artists and 15 million songs in the iHeartRadio catalog. It also boasts numerous playlists, each with a sizeable selection of subcategories.
The audio quality of iHeartRadio is good, though it doesn’t offer Hi-Res Audio like some of its competitors. It also lacks a few features offered by competing services, such as the ability to rewind live radio and the TuneStart functionality. However, these are minor drawbacks compared to the wide variety of features and content that iHeartRadio offers.
Owned by iHeartMedia, an American mass media corporation headquartered in San Antonio, iHeartRadio is an Internet radio platform founded in 2008 as iheartmusic.com. The station currently aggregates content from around 800 local stations across the United States. The company has recently announced two subscription-based services called iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio All Access. With these services, subscribers can enjoy extra features such as offline use, replay, playlists, and others.
The platform’s Android app has a high rating, with many users praising its polished user interface and various customization options. iHeartRadio makes it very easy to create a personalized music station based on previously liked songs.
The app also features podcasts from personalities like Ryan Seacrest, Colin Cowherd, Sean Hannity, Elvis Duran, Bobby Bones, and others. Plus, it has a solid podcast well with popular shows, such as The Breakfast Club, Crime Junkie, and Stuff You Should Know.
If you want to create your own playlists and listen to them offline, the more expensive plan is the way to go. On the other hand, if you just want to replay your favorite songs and skip those that you don’t like, the cheaper plan is enough.
Overall, iHeartRadio is the best radio streaming app for Android users. It offers a wide variety of features, including live radio, artist stations, podcasts, and playlists. It also has a clean, easy-to-use interface, and two premium plans that offer additional features. The audio quality is good, and the content is vast. All of these features make iHeartRadio the best radio streaming app for Android users.
- The iHeartRadio Android app provides access to thousands of live radio stations, podcasts, and music playlists.
- The app features popular podcasts from NPR, Gimlet, How Stuff Works, ESPN Podcasts, Big Money Players Network, TED, Wondery, and more.
- The app also allows users to create personalized music stations based on their favorite artists and genres.
- The app requires a subscription for access to certain features.
- The app may not be available in all countries.
Download it now: Play Store
2) TuneIn Radio
TuneIn has over 100,000 radio stations with a wide selection of music, sports, news, talk, and more from all around the world. It also includes podcasts, so you can stay up to date on the latest topics. And this is actually the official radio streaming app for all Tesla models. Tesla actually does not currently offer iHeartRadio, which is a bummer to lots of Tesla owners.
Among many key features of the app is the ability to quickly and easily find interesting stations, shows, and podcasts directly from the app and bookmark them for future use. Thanks to the Google Voice support, you can just say “OK Google, listen to ESPN Radio,” allowing you to keep both hands on the wheel or in the warm pockets of your winter jacket.
The app is free from picture ads and pop-ups, and you can listen instantly without a user account. The app is easy to use and navigate. You can find local and remote FM and AM radio stations, stations that are trending worldwide, and stations by music, sport, news, and talk genre.
You can also browse by location and language, and save your favorite stations for easy access. The mobile app also has a Car Mode, which turns it into a much simpler and cleaner interface with four large buttons to easily find recent and recommended stations, pause and play the station, and open the stations you’re following.
TuneIn also offers a premium version, which gives you access to additional features and less ads. You can also purchase a paid app to record audio from the radio stations.
Premium users additionally get access to a library of over 40,000 audiobooks, exclusive content from 600 music stations, and live play-by-play from every NFL, MLB, and BPL game. The only thing premium users don’t get is ads.
Overall, TuneIn is a great option for radio streaming on your Android. It offers a wide selection of music, sports, news, talk, and more from all around the world. The app is free from picture ads and pop-ups, and you can listen instantly without a user account. It is easy to use and navigate, and you can save your favorite stations for easy access. TuneIn also offers a premium version and a paid app to record audio from the radio stations.
- TuneIn offers access to 100,000+ global stations from 197 countries.
- TuneIn provides access to news networks, sports content, and podcasts.
- TuneIn is compatible with Android Auto, Amazon Alexa-enabled devices, and Google Home speakers/displays.
- TuneIn Premium is an optional subscription plan that offers additional content.
- TuneIn uses Nielsen measurement software which allows users to contribute to market research.
Download it now: Play Store
Simple Radio by Streema provides users with an easy way to access their favorite FM radio, AM radio, and online radio stations. With over 50,000 stations, users can tune in to the ones they know and love, or discover new music from around the world.
The app is designed with a clean user interface that makes tuning in straightforward. It also provides one-tap access to favorites, so users can quickly get to the station they want to listen to.
Additionally, Simple Radio features unparalleled levels of stability and reliability, so there are no buffering or interruptions.
The app is also available on multiple platforms, including Android Auto, Google Chromecast, iPhone, iPad, iWatch, Amazon Alexa, mobile, and web. This makes it easy to access Simple Radio from any device. It also allows users to cast what they are listening to on any Google Chromecast compatible device.
Simple Radio also provides free access to thousands of FM radio, AM radio, and online radio stations. Users can listen to music, talk shows, news, and live sports radio. They can tune in to their favorite stations, including NPR Radio, BBC Radio, MRN, 77 WABC, La Mega 97.9, KNBR, and WNYC.
- Simple Radio provides access to thousands of FM radio, AM radio, and online radio stations.
- It has a clean user interface and one-tap access to favorites.
- It also features no buffering or interruptions and can be used on multiple platforms.
- An internet connection is needed to play any radio station.
Download it now: Play Store
My Radio is a free mobile radio app that contains over 50,000 online tunein radio stations from around the world. It is a simple radio free FM radio app that allows users to listen to tuner radio stations stably and smoothly with high-quality.
My Radio includes different types of popular live radio FM, such as live news, music, sports, comedy, talk shows, concerts, etc. It also includes radio from USA, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Latin America, Brazil, Japan, Korea, China, India, and Southeast Asia. It has a simple user interface that is easy to use and quick to find free radio stations by name, language, state, or country.
My Radio also has some great features such as Timer, Alarm, Car Mode, Dark Mode, and the ability to add custom radio stations. The Timer feature allows users to set a sleep timer on the free FM radio tuner, so they can fall asleep with their favorite radio FM. The Alarm Clock feature allows users to use their favorite FM radio tuner or Internet radio to wake them up. The Car Mode feature allows users to listen to Radio FM easily while driving. The Dark Mode feature reduces eye strain while using the free FM Radio app in dark environments.
- My Radio is a free mobile radio app for Android that contains over 50,000 online radio stations.
- It has a simple user interface and allows users to easily search for radio stations by name, language, state, or country.
- It also has features such as Timer, Alarm, Car Mode, Dark Mode, and the ability to add custom radio stations.
- Some users may not be able to access all 50,000 radio stations due to their location.
- The app may not be compatible with all Android devices.
Download it now: Play Store
5) Radio FM
Radio FM is another excellent choice for those that are looking for an alternative to the standard AM and FM radio. Radio FM allows you to listen and enjoy a variety of different music genres, such as classical, rock, pop, instrumental, hip-hop, gospel, and so much more. But, on top of music Radio FM also allows you to listen to your favorite talk radio, news channels, comedy, and other types of radio programming. Unfortunately, there’s no actual FM use available because of the lack of an enabled FM chip in your phone.
- Radio FM is free and supports Android Auto, Google Chromecast, Android TV, and Android watch/wearable.
- It has a sleep timer and alarm clock feature, as well as a favorites list and access to recent and top radio and podcast.
- It has over 180,000 podcasts and 20 million episodes, and users can access popular genres like fashion, news & politics, education, and motivation.
- Radio FM may not have all the radio stations and podcasts that users are looking for.
- It may not be compatible with all devices.