Well, Swell Radio App is Well… Swell!

Total Score: 30

I am a huge NPR fan and didn’t think anything could woo me away from my local station.  But then, I found the Swell Radio app.  I get the best of NPR, TED talks and intelligent stories from comedy, sports and news channels.  This app provides unlimited streaming audio.  It learns what you like and, over time, delivers radio-like content that matches your interests.  But, in addition to that you can decide to focus on business, comedy, sports, etc. 

 Price Rating = 5      Free.  Some podcasts have commercials.

Ease of Use Rating = 5      Pretty much you just turn it on and changing stations is as easy as swiping.

Readability Rating = 5      Large text makes it easy to read and follow prompts.

Will You Use It Rating = 5     I’ve used it every day.   I suspect you might as well.

Downsides Rating =  0     I haven’t discovered any downsides. Some people commented it is liberal leaning.  You could focus on comedy, sports or network news if that bothered you.  The reason I like it is that it doesn’t focus so much on politics.   Note:  Some of the podcasts do have language that is not appropriate for children.  I didn’t take any points off for this, it is just something to know.

Consumer Review Rating = 5    With a little more than 300 ratings they are almost all positive.

Why Do You Need This App Rating = 5     Learning is a lifetime opportunity.  This app gives you the opportunity to learn about new stories in science and mix it up with sports or comedy.

How does it work? 

  1. When you open the app you are presented with a story to listen to.  You can tap the PLAY button or swipe left to go to the next story.
  2. If you decide you wanted the previous story you just swipe right.
  3. You can pause it by taping the PAUSE button.
  4. You can replay the last 10 seconds or last 30 sections with the icons on the bottom left and right.
  5. You tap the I (information) icon in the bottom to learn more about the show. And the return arrow to come back to the main screen.
  6. You can tap the MENU icon at the top left to see other choices.   TOPICS allows you to choose topics of interest.
  7. You can share the app through Twitter and Facebook.  If connected to these social media platforms, the app will use them to help learn more about your interests.  I chose not to link to them.
  8. You can Bookmark stories to listen to again.
  9. To enjoy the app in the car, you can listen to it over Bluetooth, if your car supports it, or through a cable that connects your iOS device to the radio audio.

I listen to it on my morning drive to work. Lately, the news is filled with stories of war and violence.  This app features interesting stories about life and science, sprinkled with comedy and gives me something positive to listen to.  Now that sounds like app that delivers.  I don’t review many apps with a perfect score.  I hope you download and enjoy this one.

Follow up:  I have been using it daily since my first review date.   I love the fact the variety of podcasts.

Devices:  This app is compatible with iPhone (3GS, 4, 4S, 5), iPod (3rd, 4th, 5th generation) and iPad.  Requires iOS 5.1 or later.  App developed by Concept.io, Inc.  It may run slower on some devices, but there is an option in the settings tab to help speed it up.  It runs on the iPad, but is not optimized for it.

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