The Simple Radio App: Enhancing Accessibility in the World of Radio Streaming

by Mairead O’Mahony

Simple Radio is an app that can be installed on iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. The app allows you to listen to and stream a huge selection of radio stations from various countries all over the world which is really cool. It also has a search feature where you can type in the name of the radio station you are looking for, e.g. Red FM and a list of matches that contain Red FM will show up.

For example, I am being presented with Red FM in Vancouver, one in Toronto, Cork etc. When you are navigating through the results, the most important thing to listen out for is the country. Once you find the station you want, tap twice quickly to start playing the station. When an app contains so many radio stations from all over the world, using the search feature is much more efficient than manually navigating through the list to find the station you are looking for.

The app also allows you to add and remove stations from your favourites, making your favourite stations easier to find and start listening too. One of my favourite radio stations is Gold 104.3 which is an 80/90s Australian radio station. Simple radio also has a Jukebox feature and depending on your taste in music, it has different categories of music stations to choose from such as pop, dance, romantic, the classics, jazz, country, 80s etc.

Simple Radio is a free app but you can also pay a yearly subscription to get premium features such as no visual ads, a sleep timer and priority customer support. You can get a 7-day free trial of these features but if you don’t cancel your subscription before the 7-day trial is up, you will be charged the yearly price.

Once you install the app, you will be presented with a message asking if you want to pay for the premium annual subscription. If you would prefer to continue using the free version, swipe to close and double-tap with one finger to activate it. You will then be presented with a popup consent message so swipe to continue and double tap to activate it. Near the very top of the screen, it has a list of recommended radio stations, e.g., Newstalk, RTE Radio 1, LBC Radio London United Kingdom etc. If you swipe to the right once on each of these stations VoiceOver reads add to favourites so double tap with one finger if you would like to add any of these recommended stations to your favourites.

At the very bottom of the page, you have 4 tabs which are listed as follows:
Favourites where you will find all the stations you have added to your favourites. Search where you can search for a particular radio station, listen to it and add it to your favourites. Jukebox where you can select different categories of music based on your interests, and Premium where you can pay per year to have visual adds removed and get features such as a sleep timer where you can set a timer for the radio station you are listening to stop playing after so much time and get access to priority customer support.

Once playing a radio station, along the bottom where the various tabs are, you do also have a pause button and a close button if you want to pause the station or close out of the ad that pops up. VoiceOver does read these buttons.

Simple Radio is a very good app that allows you to stream and listen to thousands of radio stations from all over the world. You do need to have your device connected to Wi-Fi or have mobile data enabled to use this app.

Simple Radio is a very user-friendly app and is very accessible with VoiceOver. Being able to search for any radio station and add or remove them from your favourites is a really nice feature as with so many options of radio stations available, there is always something interesting to listen too. I have tried a good few radio apps in the past and found them much more complex to use. While I am happy to use the free version of the app and close the full-screen visual ads that often pop up some people may choose to pay yearly to not have these ads.

Sign Up For Our Technology Newsletter

*By clicking submit you are consenting to receive information from Vision Ireland

Please Subscribe to our Talking Technology Podcast