iHeartRadio, the Internet radio streaming app, is out with a new version for iPhone today adding a couple of new features for listeners. First up is support for Apple’s CarPlay feature for CarPlay-equipped vehicles. This presents an optimized version of the iPhone app on CarPlay equipped cars’ built-in screens when connected to the iPhone making it easier to navigate and control the app when driving.
Apple has mentioned that iHeartRadio is a supported CarPlay app since the re-branded feature was introduced earlier this year, but support was not yet available when we reviewed CarPlay in an aftermarket Pioneer display last month. iHeartRadio brings a wide variety of content to CarPlay with stations ranging from talk radio to sports to various music genres, and traditional AM/FM stations with online streams can be accessed through CarPlay using the new iHeartRadio app for iPhone. The app requires an account to access personalized custom and talk stations (you can sign up with email or Facebook, and over 1900 live stations are available without an account), but once you log in the CarPlay version of the app is unlocked and you can do almost anything available on the iPhone app through your CarPlay-compatible display in your car.
If you’re familiar with iHeartRadio for iPhone and other platforms, then you’ll know what to expect from iHeartRadio with CarPlay. In my initial testing with the app, I quickly discovered some interesting content like audio from late night television shows including Conan and Jimmy Kimmel as well as morning TV shows broadcasts like Good Morning America. You also get access to a massive list of supported terrestrial radio stations streamed through your iPhone.
You can also create stations on-the-go and browse iHeartRadio for live stations and promoted content. Current users of the iHeartRadio iPhone app can simply plug in their iPhone to supported CarPlay systems and see their content automatically.
Aside from CarPlay, the new version of iHeartRadio introduces a Today view widget in Notification Center. This feature requires iOS 8 which added widget support. The widget is for quickly accessing recently played stations on iHeartRadio with quick links to those stations including station art and the station title as well as how long ago you listened to the station. Tapping a station will jump you to the station again and begin playing it.
iHeartRadio for iPhone with CarPlay support and its new Today widget is available for free from the App Store. The update follows the recent addition of Rdio to supported CarPlay apps that currently work with the system. For more on CarPlay, read our recent review.
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