As a regular listener to Newstalk radio, the arrival of the Newstalk App to Android was very welcome. That was until I used it for a while! The App has undergone many updates since it was originally launched. Every time it has offered bug fixes and occasional UI updates and in fairness, most of the time it has ironed out the bugs. Unfortunately it only ever seems to iron out the bugs for a very short period of time. I have never come across an App that works so intermittently. About a week ago, in preparation of writing this review, I started using the App again on a regular basis, but more about that later.
The App is designed to allow users to:
- Stream live radio at two different bit rates (high and low)
- Access an archive of the last 7 days of shows
- Play podcasts from a large selection of previous shows or features
- Read a selection of current news articles from the Newstalk website
The UI is designed quiet well and generally has a quality feel to it. If you are streaming audio it is system persistant so will continue to play audio in the background while you are performing other tasks. It is then easily accessible from the drop down notification menu. As I have eluded to though, all these features are available when it works.
Over the last week of use, nearly 95% of the time connected to a WiFi network, I haven’t once had a day when every feature worked. The live audio stream worked pretty much every day. In the past this has stopped working completely so at least this is an improvement. The news section loads the article excerpts but once you click on an article to read it, the app just hangs. Other features such as the podcasts intermittently work but when they don’t the app inevitably crashes.
It would be hard to recommend such as App but if you are a fan of Newstalk you find you just suffer on with it’s failings in the hope another update will one day fix the issues. That said Newstalk have been advertising their “New” website heavily on their radio ads of late and for an
yone who’s had the experience of that might get an idea of why the App performs so badly.
We live in hope of an update to end all the bug fixing updates!