January 5, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
TuneIn Radio has added a new feature designed to keep your hands off your phone and on the wheel when driving. The latest update enables a Car Mode that delivers hands-free controls for playing music and switching radio stations.
TuneIn Radio is an Android app that pulls in live streams from radio stations across the United States, including local music stations, BBC, NPR, and select satellite broadcasters. So if you’re someone in Buffalo who would rather listen to LITE FM in Miami, the app can play that station and even record it (recording requires $0.99 pro version of app).
Instead of fumbling with one hand to navigate the app while driving, TuneIn can now respond to voice commands. That same person in Buffalo can just tap a voice search button once and say “Play LITE FM” and the app will begin streaming from the station. It can also search for a station likely to play a particular artist. Say “Listen to Eminem” and the app will start streaming a station with Eminem in its playlist.
Car Mode focuses in on Presets, Recently played stations, and Recommended stations. It also differs depending on your software. On my HTC EVO (Android 2.3) it has four easy-to-access tabs, but it merely goes into landscape mode on my Galaxy Nexus (Android 4.0). It can still do voice search, but the button is in the top right corner and small, severely diminishing the convenience factor.
Download TuneIn Radio from the Android Market for free. Not all radio stations are included because of broadcast restrictions, so keep that in mind if your favorite station isn’t available in the app.