National Public Radio has had an official Android app for years now, but it wasn't particularly pretty then, and it doesn't look any better now. Fortunately the organization has now released a separate piece of software that doesn't look like it's put together by donations and held together by aging strings of code. NPR One is a new radio streaming app that puts out stories from the national organization and its many local affiliates to provide a personalized, easy-listening experience.
Stitcher Radio has made the jump to version 3.2, and it's a pretty nice update. Ever start a podcast and wish you could come back to it later without having to search? The app's new "Listen Later" feature will take care of that problem. Just click on an episode and hit up the "Add to Listen Later" option that appears. You can then access it and other saved episodes from the sidebar.
My Devices interface
Most importantly, today's update finally adds the ability to manage and deauthorize devices without having to go to the web interface - a feature we've longed for ever since discovering the 10-device limitation. While 10 devices may seem like a lot, once you factor in a few rounds of phone upgrades, various tablets lying around the house, and Google TV, you may just find yourself running into the limit soon.
If you were jealous of iOS users who were able to wake up every morning to the sound of their favorite Pandora stations, then today may just be your lucky day. Today, Pandora announced a new update to its Android app that includes the alarm clock feature which debuted on iOS last month. In addition to waking you up at a set time with the station of your choosing, it also includes a snooze ability and a customizable snooze timer which can be set to 5, 10, 15, or 20 minute intervals.
If you're a regular user of the iHeartRadio service, there's a big update waiting for you in the Play Store. The most useful addition in the new version of the Android app is undoubtedly the expanded control options: you can now pause, play, or advance your streaming music on the lockscreen or the new notification. The notification is even expandable - are you watching this, Pandora?
The user interface gets a fancy new slide-out menu, accessible from the main player and home screens.
The latest Spotify update isn't anything major, but it should help make it easier to navigate the vast amount of content out there and discover what new tunes you might be interested in. Clicking on the Browse section of the Spotify side navigation menu shoots you out to a grid of genres to choose from. Clicking on any of them presents suitable artists, and there's a menu at the top where you can break down the genre even further.
A Google Play Music update v5.2 just popped up in the Play Store, though it's being slowly rolled out, as is the case with many big Google apps nowadays. The previous version is 5.1, and indeed I'm seeing quite a few changes inside that would warrant a point release.
Update 9/10/13 4:00pm PT: the official changelog has been posted:
Losing the cellular connection on your phone, even briefly, can be a potentially serious issue. It might come at the moment you need to call for emergency services, or when somebody is trying to call you. Today, we're going to talk about a pair of issues on the Nexus 4 that can send it into radio silence for as little as a few seconds, or as long as it takes for you to notice it.