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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Dash Radio Brings Commercial-Free Music To CarPlay [App Review]

Apple CarPlay has fewer third-party apps compared to Android Auto but in the recent few weeks there have been a number of new apps which have added compatibility. One such app is Dash Radio, a commercial-free music streaming app (yes, another one of those!).

Dash Radio features 24/7 live streaming from the biggest DJ's, personalities and curators from around the world. The app has over 60 original and exclusive stations.

More details and CarPlay screenshots are below.

When you first download the Dash Radio app from the App Store (free to download), you will be asked to create an account. You can either do this by entering your email address and picking a password or skip this step altogether and go straight to streaming.

The dashboard screen in Dash Radio shows up a bunch of genres which you can tap on as favorites. The app then prepares your dashboard with a list of stations based on your selections. You can always tweak your selections at any time.

Once you tap on 'Start Listening' you will be shown a list of stations with one of the randomly selected stations beginning to play music. You can select a different station if you'd like or just kick back and listen to what's playing.

You can swipe left from the dashboard within the app to browse through the entire channel list, latest buzz, popular DJ's & hosts etc. Dash Radio settings can also be found by swiping left.

All this has been happening on the iPhone so far. Let's connect to CarPlay now.

Dash Radio in Apple CarPlay

When I first connected my iPhone 6 to the Pioneer AVH-4100NEX and launched Dash Radio from the CarPlay homescreen, only one radio station was displayed. No other controls showed up on the Dash Radio homescreen. There was no browse button.

In a few seconds, the rest of the stations loaded up and the list populated. But there are still no buttons for browsing stations here. Only two buttons for scrolling up and down the list of stations. You can also browse by swiping on the list.

The station list shows the currently playing track and artist info. The list you see in CarPlay is populated based on your favorites picked in the the app.

So you tap on any station you like and the 'Now Playing' screen will show up. The interface here is standard and looks like any other audio app in CarPlay. There are forward, back and pause/play buttons. No thumbs up or favorite buttons are displayed. The forward and back buttons switch stations in your favorites list.

You can jump back to your favorites list by tapping on only other button, (back) on the Now Playing screen.

The minimalistic interface of Dash Radio in CarPlay will be liked by some while others will find themselves getting frustrated at the lack of options. The iOS app on the iPhone has way more controls comparatively. So if you're used to listening to Dash Radio on your iPhone, you may find the CarPlay experience lacking.

The app is free to download though, so go ahead and give it a try. And all the music is commercial-free!

Just FYI - Dash Radio is also available on Android through Google Play and the Amazon App Store. The Android version is not Android Auto compatible at this time though.

Source: Dash Radio

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