I remember being kind of disappointed last summer when the iPhone 3G was first released because it didn’t have a radio tuner. Why? I dunno! I never listen to the radio, but for some reason I wanted it. Then came the flood of internet radio apps which seemed like a good enough substitute but there was still something missing… what if I wanted to wake up to the radio instead of one of the iPhone’s built-in ringtones?
Apparently Alexandre Pestre also prefers waking up to the radio, so he built MyClockRadio for exactly this purpose. MyClockRadio comes equipped with a bunch of preset internet radio stations from several different countries… USA, France, and Germany among them… and it also lets you add your own internet radio URL if the one you want isn’t already listed. The app isn’t what you’d call “pretty” but it works as advertised when running on WiFi, and like a lot of internet radio apps things get pretty spotty on Edge.
There is, however, one thing about MyClockRadio that I think really needs to change: the alarm won’t go off if your iPhone screen is locked! Of course you have to run the app while you’re sleeping in order for it to work, but my guess is that a lot of people are in the habit of locking the screen when hitting the sack.
If you have one of those fancy iPhone clock radios that charges your phone while you sleep, or if you normally have it plugged in at the bedside, this isn’t an issue. However, if you need to wake up and don’t have any AC power, you’d better have some juice left in that battery when you call it a night.
A double-tap on the main screen will change the app’s display to a dark, power-saving digital clock thing, and while I really like this feature it’s also important to realize that if you want to hit Snooze you need to double-tap again and then press the snooze bar. Aside from the locked screen problem, I think the other major improvement needed here would be a way to make Snoozing really easy. If I’m dead to the world – and in the mornings I usually am – I just want to reach over and smack my iPhone across the face for some snooze time; double-tapping the screen and then single-tapping on the snooze bar probably ain’t gonna happen.
Overall I like this app (provided there’s WiFi in the room) but it needs to function when the screen is locked, snoozing needs improvement, and a graphical makeover wouldn’t hurt either. $3.99 seems a bit high on the pricetag, but if you’re radio-less and hate waking up to actual alarms then you may just have to bite the bullet and hope some upgrades come out in a future release.