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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Countries Listed After Bulgaria On Open Radio Are Unreachable In Android Auto

Say you have that favorite French radio station you like to listen to. Or maybe a few reggae tunes from the Caribbean island of Jamaica. There are plenty of apps that would allow you to stream such remotely located stations on Android but when it comes to Android Auto, you have much fewer choices.

One of your choices is Open Radio. The Android Auto compatible app lists almost every country out there and has at least one or two stations in each country it can stream. But there is a problem. A big one. If your favorite radio station is located in a country listed alphabetically after Bulgaria, you may be out of luck.

Android Auto has restrictions for safety reasons to the way long lists of items can be accessed. In fact, I posted about this a few days back. Open Radio throws a ton of content at you which cannot be accessed in Android Auto due to this restriction. There is, however, a way you around it to an extent.

Let me explain.

So Google has a six-tap maximum restriction inside Android Auto, which means you can access content as long as you can click through lists in under six taps (four taps in case you're in Japan). The moment you exceed six taps you will see an error message which reads, "For safety reasons, no more items can be displayed."

In Open Radio when you try to browse stations by Country which are listed alphabetically, you can only get to Bulgaria. An attempt to scroll down further throws up that error message.

Google recommends app developers to integrate voice commands in their Android Auto apps which can make it easier for a driver to access content. But unfortunately, voice commands don't work well at all in Open Radio.

The only way you can access stations listed after Bulgaria is by adding your favorite ones to the 'Favorites' list by tapping the little star next to them. You will have to do this on your smartphone though, and not while connected to Android Auto.

Click the star next to your favorite station to add it to the Favorites list in Open Radio
You can access your Favorites list from the Open Radio homescreen when connected to Android Auto.

Apps like Open Radio which have long lists will have to come up with a solution for accessing content without having to tap more than six times. Even the taps used to scroll through lists are counted. Either that or Google will have to ease the restriction but that's unlikely to happen. Google cites safety reasons for this shortcoming to Android Auto.

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