RTE Radio (the national broadcaster in Ireland) recently updated their iPhone apps for RTE Radio 1, and RTE 2FM to include background streaming, which is a welcome update. There is nothing worse that having the check an e-mail, knowing that if you do so you do so the radio playback will stop, this is more and more becoming a thing of the past as app developers update their radio apps. RTE also released an interesting little useful app called RTE Pocket.
RTE Pocket is a collection of RTE Radio apps which introduces RTE digital radio to the iPhone for the first time. Well done to RTE for embracing the iPhone platform, they really are on the ball with their audience with this one.
But while RTE Pocket app is a welcome addition to the growing number of Irish radio apps, it does fall short a little on the user interface and does not support the retina display on the iPhone 4, this not a major quibble for a radio app but it would be nice. The UI is a little confusing and clunky for a first time user of the app, but you get the hang of it.
RTE Pocket app is sectioned into two strips of radio apps, the top strip provides access to the national radio stations, namely:
- RTE Radio 1
- RTE 2fm
- RTE Lyric FM
- RTE Radio na Gaeltachta
The bottom strips how smaller tabs giving access to RTE’s digital radio stations, namely:
- RTE 2xm
- RTE Pulse
- RTE Jr
- RTE Radio 1 extra
- RTE Chill
- RTE Choice
- RTE Gold
While the UI is certainly not terrible, it does border closely to ‘difficult to use’ for an average first time user of the app, but you cant help but feel it only needs a little tweaking to perfect it.
Click on your favourite station, digital or national, and it begins to play, supporting background streaming, the UI will display a carousel of options, such as News, Twitter, Facebook, which all open an in-app browser to display content. This screen is where an average user may get confused about how to go back to the main menu or browse around, while the top portion of the screen usefully and clearly displays what is on that particular station currently, with information ticker underneath, it is the carousel where navigation gets a little cloudy. The buttons are small and it is easy to hit off the wrong one, while there is plenty of screen space below these buttons which could have been used better, you would wonder why they did not make these buttons easier to use.
A great app and step in the right direction for RTE![box type=”download”]App store link for RTE Pocket – Opens iTunes- FREE[/box]