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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Several Third-Party Apps Add Apple CarPlay Compatibility

In a wave, a bevy of third-party applications have added Apple CarPlay compatibility over the last couple of weeks. All apps are audio-related while some are for international users.

Here is a complete list with a short description on each application...

The CarPlay app landscape has expanded gradually over the last few months. Disappointingly though, Deezer Music dropped compatibility recently. The app famously played high-quality audio tracks which were great for listening in the car. CD-quality track streaming is almost unheard of in these days of compression.

Anyways, these are the latest third-party CarPlay-compatible apps...

1. WUUQ Radio: This app developed by AirKast, Inc. is for streaming the WUUQ Radio station (Q-97.3/99.3). The app interface on the iPhone has added detailed station information, local news, station events, promotions and even the station's YouTube channel. There is also an alarm clock feature.

Link to download: WUUQ Radio from iTunes

2. Radio Energy - NRJ: There are numerous versions of this app available for download. NRJ allows you to stream over 150 radio stations in many genres right to your dashboard. The app streams audio in high definition at 576 Kbits. It is available for European audiences (Bulgaria, France etc.) but downloadable in the US iTunes store.

Link to download: Radio Energy - NRJ from iTunes

3. Nostalgie Radio: This app is developed by E-NRJ, the same developer as the NRJ app. Nostalgie Radio is a French radio station streaming app. The catalog contains over 20 radio stations to choose from. The app has an iPad version as well as one for the Apple Watch in addition to the iPhone.

Link to download: Nostalgie Radio from iTunes

4. Chérie FM: Another French radio streaming app, Chérie FM is also developed by E-NRJ. The app streams about 20 stations like Chérie 80, Chérie 90, Chérie At Work, and Chérie Fitness. Chérie radio stations can also be streamed via other third-party applications (like StreamS HiFi - not CarPlay compatible).

Link to download: Chérie FM from iTunes

5. Rire et Chansons Radio: You guessed it! Another French radio station streaming app by E-NRJ. This is the official app for Rire et Chansons radio station and includes up to 10 radio stations for streaming. The stations included here for music and also things like Sketches, Stand Up, Skits etc.

Link to download: Rire et Chansons Radio from iTunes

6. VOX: This high-quality audio streaming app allows you to stream music form various sources, including SoundCloud. The app plays numerous lossless audio formats, allows users to create and import playlists, and even stream from a NAS drive. Music can also be streamed using a built-in crossfader for gapless listening.

LOOP for VOX is a subscription-based service which will run you $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year.

Link to download: VOX from iTunes

Apple, unlike Google, has no resource for knowing which third-party apps are CarPlay compatible. Hence the discovery process can be a little tough for consumers. Apple's CarPlay page shows only a few apps that were initially compatible.

Google has an 'Apps for Android Auto' section in Google Play. I think it's about time Apple added a similar 'Apps for CarPlay' section in iTunes.

I will include CarPlay screenshots for each of the new apps in a subsequent post, so stay tuned for that.

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