Last night…no! Not, the R&B hit song by Az Yet. I mean last night literally…there was no power supply, the weather was sticky and I needed a little help getting to sleep. I decided to try the FM Radio on Big Red (that is my Lumia 1520), and while listening to some nice music, it occurred to me that I could do a quick comparison of FM Radio experience on Windows Phone and Android, since I also had a Motorola Moto G with me. Both devices run the very latest software versions from their respective platforms after all. They represent the latest and the best, software-wise/ And so, an attempt to sleep turned into a review session. Story of my life.
FM Radio on Windows Phone is a bare-bones affair. Launch the app and search for a station manually by swiping horizontally on the screen. When you find a station, you can bookmark it for easy access later. You can bookmark multiple stations. That’s it.
I also find it odd that there is no way to play back radio on the phone’s loudspeaker (or I am old and couldn’t find it). The wired headset also doubles as an antenna for FM radio reception.
The option to play back radio on loudspeaker is actually there, tucked away in the most unfriendly way. On the horizontal slider used for manually scanning stations, a dot represents the station you are on. Press and hold the dot for a drop down menu to appear. The option to switch to loudspeaker is one of the available features there. Am I the only one who thinks that most users will never find this option unless someone points them to it? Why not just have a loudspeaker icon in a corner for everyone to see? There is so much empty space that it would have been perfect.
First time of launching the Android FM Radio app, and it immediately automatically began a scan for available stations, finding and listing over 12 of them for me to pick from. This is already a step ahead of the Windows Phone experience. You can bookmark/favourite whichever you want as well. You can also do a scan anytime by selecting “Scan” from the menu, or by using horizontal buttons in the “Now Playing” view.
Sadly, also here on Android, I can’t find a way to play radio out on the phone’s loudspeakers. Only via a wired headset which also doubles as an antenna.
I am not sure why both platforms would leave out ability to play radio via built-in loudspeakers, but its a crying shame. However, in this comparison, the Android FM radio app is clearly a step ahead of what obtains on Windows Phone because of the automatic station scan that it offers.
So, the Android app has auto-scan but not the ability to play on loudspeaker, while the Windows Phone app has the latter but not the former. I am sure though that the implementation of radio will not make any user on either platform to switch. Still, it was good doing the comparison.
Now that we are through analysing the radio apps, let’s dive back into that 1996 track from Az Yet:
Last night you were so into it
You told me secrets that
You’ve never told a soul
You were so nervous and
Yet oh so comfortable….
*music fades away*