iHeartRadio iPhone App Review

iHeartRadio App (iPhone)
iHeartRadio App (iPhone). © iHeartMedia, Inc.

The Good

  • Hundreds of stations
  • Find radio stations near you
  • Fast, glitch-free operation

The Bad

  • Commercials

iHeartRadio (Free) is one option for listening to radio stations directly on your iPhone or other iOS device. The developer, Clear Channel, is one of the powerhouses in radio, so iHeartRadio has the potential to be a standout app. But does it have what it takes to make our list of the  best free music apps? 

Listen to local stations

The  iHeartRadio app includes more than 750 radio stations, and there is more than enough variety here to keep most listeners satisfied. Genres include alternative, Christian, classic rock, dance, Spanish language, and many more. For those who prefer to catch up on the latest news, iHeartRadio features plenty of options in the news, talk radio, and sports categories. 

When you first launch iHeartRadio, the app will ask for permission to use your current location -- this locates local radio stations near you. "Local" was a bit of a stretch for me, as the app identified radio stations that are several hours away. That’s not a huge deal, especially considering that my local radio stations aren’t that great anyway! Users in big cities should have no trouble finding local stations. 

You can also find radio stations in other cities, which is one of the best features of iHeartRadio. After moving from Arizona several years ago, I really missed the morning show I used to listen to every day on my way to work. With the iHeartRadio app, I had no trouble finding that station. 


Seriously fast performance, but some downsides


Each radio stations loads very fast. Seriously, I was impressed. There were no buffering pauses whatsoever when I tested the app over a Wi-Fi connection. You can add individual stations or songs to your favorites, and even program a particular station to play when you launch the app. When you "favorite" a particular song, you can go back and find a link to buy it on iTunes; sadly, you can’t listen to that song on demand. 

One downside to iHeartRadio-- unlike music apps like Pandora or Last.fm -- is that since you are listening to actual radio stations, you’ll encounter radio promos, DJ announcements, and commercials. And you can’t pause or skip songs, as you can with other music apps. 


The Bottom Line


Iheartradio works flawlessly, and listening to actual radio stations couldn’t be much simpler. There are some downsides compared to Internet radio apps -- you can’t pause or skip songs, and the stations have commercials and DJ announcements, just like any regular radio station. You’ll have to decide if these downsides are worth it, but having the ability to listen to my favorite morning show makes me a happy listener. Overall rating: 4 stars out of 5.  

What You’ll Need

iHeartRadio is compatible with the iPhone,   iPod Touch and iPad. It requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later.