Slacker Radio's developers are no slackers when it comes to reinventing the app and redesigning it. Over the last three years, they've gone through one and then two major redesigns, and now they're ready for the third along with a major update to their audio catalogue.
Take a moment to consider the plight of poor app developers. In order to evade the fury of Android users, they need to check their apps every few months to make sure they work with incremental updates. Then every once in a while they need to add support for new phones with weird manufacturer skins or new chipset architectures. And if that wasn't enough, Google keeps adding entirely new product categories - Android Wear on smartwatches, Android TV for televisions, and Android Auto for cars. I'm not saying that developers shouldn't make every effort to keep their apps current, just that we should take a moment to recognize what a hassle it is.
Slacker isn't a music streaming service. Okay, it is, but it has a twist. Okay, I know, they all have twists. But Slacker isn't just about loading tracks. Think of it as Internet radio. Pandora? No, no, it's nothing like that. Users create and customize their own stations, then—okay, I see what you're getting at. Let's start over.
Slacker is a music streaming service, one of the many available in the Play Store. Today it's sporting a new look.
The company has provided a redesigned app with a tweaked interface that's intended to point you towards better recommendations. For starters, there's a "Today on Slacker" feed that highlights artists, albums, and stations that you might like.
There is no shortage of streaming music services that want to pipe tunes into your ears, but Slacker Radio just made its offering much more attractive for Android users. The app has a brand new clean interface and the option to instantly build a station based on what you happen to be up to.
The app has done away with the strange combination of Metro-style tiles and old fashioned Android tabs that it was rocking before. Now it's much more modern-looking and super-responsive. There are engaging little animations and visual effects that make the app feel much more polished than its previous incarnation.
As if there weren't enough contenders out there for music subscription service, Slacker Radio has updated its business model. You can still get the standard ad-supported radio station features that were always available. However the company has added a Spotify-like buffet option for $10/month. Pony up the dough and you can remove all ads and listen to as many tracks as you want.
The combination is pretty powerful, as one of the biggest complaints over Spotify is its discovery problems. Slacker Radio never really dethroned Pandora, but it did offer some stiff competition. There has been relatively little overlap between radio and subscription services.