Developer: EnSight Media
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store
The iPhone revolution has phased out so many stand alone devices that I can hardly remember what they were in the first place. I have not used a digital camera in years. I used to own a stand alone GSP device and a stand alone palm pilot calendar device. Nowadays those devices seem so archaic—but one device I didn't realize I missed (until recently), is a stand alone radio alarm clock. So I was particularly excited to review Radio Alarm Clock by the developers at EnSight Media.
Radio Alarm Clock is an alarm clock app that lets you wake up to the radio. I haven't owned an alarm clock for years, so I forgot how great it is to wake up listening to music — or other radio station if you prefer.
The app has thousands of web-based radio stations that you can listen to with the swipe of a few buttons. Radio Alarm Clock has several ways explore the huge catalog of channels. Broadcast stations — those typically found on your AM and FM dial — that have a web feed are listed by location (Country > State). Browse stations from around the world or around the corner to start building a custom list of your favorites. Shoutcast stations are listed by genre and sub-genre.
Both Broadcast and Shoutcast stations are searchable by accessing the pull-down search bar at the top of the screen. If you don't find exactly what you're looking for, you can also add a station. The key with adding custom stations is that you must enter the full URL for streaming (ie: http://talkstoryradio.net:9998) not just the URL of the website.
Radio Alarm Clock has style as well as functionality. The app is wonderfully designed to look like an old radio. Though not quite antique on all fronts, the theme is carried throughout the app in a way that provides a rich user experience. Knobs and buttons have satisfying click sounds and channels hiss between station changes. The normally crisp white of the iPhone's Retina screen has been replaced with a softer antique coloring that is much easier on the eyes.
When it comes to usability, Radio Alarm Clock is anything but old-fashioned. The alarm clock has an array of features to help you wake up in the morning. Choose from default sounds like clock or garden noises, the radio, your mp3 library, or record a custom wake-up call. You can shake your phone to snooze the alarm, which is a fun feature — especially if you need to vent some frustration at having to wake up so early. The alarm lets you set the duration for each snooze, and also lets you limit the number of times you can actually snooze.
Overall I was impressed with the Radio Alarm Clock and found it well designed, easy to use and useful. The only issue I had with Radio Alarm Clock was that in order to find a station you have to know the call signal such as KXYZ as opposed to the channel on the dial. So I had to do a little extra work to figure out the call signal before I could find my preferred station.
Radio Alarm Clock is an app I would recommend to anyone that misses waking up to the radio, like we did way back in the early 2000s. It’s also a great choice for anyone simply looking for an alarm or radio station app.
Radio Alarm Clock offers a free ad-supported edition or a premium version that is ad-free. However, if you hurry, you can grab a copy of the premium version at no charge. (It's a temporary price drop.) Radio Alarm Clock is definitely an app worth paying for, for free it's a no-brainer.