HD Radio

Category: 

Description of App: 

Though free of charge, this app works in conjunction with the Gigaware HD Radio exclusively available from Radioshack selling for $40 at this writing. This radio connects to the USB/Power jack. Its pretty durable plastic whose dimensions are approximately a half inch thick by 2 inches by 1.5 inches. It has an earphone jack and a button used for tagging songs. All other functions such as tuning are performed via the app. The radio will hijack the sound output, hence it's necessary to plug headphones or a speaker into it's output jack when ever the device is connected, or alternatively vo output is emitted from BlueTooth headphones or speakers. The headphone wire also serves as the antenna. Since there is only an English version I suspect my info will not be applicable for anyone outside the US.

I was surprised that many reviews on the Radioshack site pan the sound quality. In my experience, HD signals through this radio are much clearer than either satellite radio or standard FM. I thought such bombastic claims were so much hype until I tried it.

Sadly this app was released over a year ago, hence does not support the new multi tasking feature introduced in IOS 4.0, but I enjoy having access to the title and artist info.

Apple Watch Support: 

Not Known

Version: 

1.0

Free or Paid: 

Free

Device(s) App Was Tested On: 

iPhone

Accessibility Comments: 

AppleVis Editor Note: this app was submitted before Usability Ratings were introduced, so one has been chosen on the basis of the accessibility comments made by the original poster. If you have used this app, please post a comment to let us know if you agree with the Rating.

Original Comments: When the app is launched, there are three buttons at the bottom labeled: "listen" "favorites" and "settings". Just above the bottom on the left and right edge are buttons labeled "listenPrev" and "ListenNext", which seeks stations in the desired direction. The "ListenBack" button toggles between the last two stations. To save a station to favorites, double tap the unlabeled button in the upper right corner.

Title artist and station info do not appear initially (at least it's not visible to VoiceOver). Double tapping the unlabeled button at the upper left corner will show the station name and (if applicable) all HD information such as what is playing on all channels. Double tapping the info for an alternative feed will tune to it.

From the station display, there appear to be two ways to select another station:1. Select the favorites button at the bottom center and pick one. The new station info is displayed at the top.2. Double tap the button labeled "albumnReturn" and then use the Prev and next buttons described above.

If desired, VoiceOver will announce the information for a station (either the one being listened to or an alternative feed) when ever it's updated with new content. This is located near the top, because changes in the selected area are always announced. If you don't desire this, simply tap a different area. So far I have not located the station frequency and call letters except by flicking to it near the top, but if an HD signal is present, one can always locate the HD information typically containing their name (I.E doesn't every market have a "mix"?), title/artist info and possibly the frequency.

From a VO perspective the interface is not intuitive initially, but all functionality and information (i.e. station id, frequency and song info) is perfectly accessible after getting past the trial and error process. There may still be features I've not discovered such as how to manually scan and stop at stations whose signal strengths lack sufficient threshold, but I do not have light perception and got the hang of it without sighted help. after some initial frustration I now find the interface perfectly usable.

VoiceOver Performance: 

VoiceOver reads most page elements.

Button Labeling: 

Few buttons are clearly labeled.

Usability: 

There are some accessibility issues with this app, but it can still be used if you are willing to tolerate these issues and learn how to work around them.