Slacker Radio brings the hits, hosts to Android Auto


One of the original streaming music apps on Android is, of course, Slacker Radio. (We first started writing about it in November 2009.) And now on Android Auto, it's as much a part of this platform's future as it is its past.

Slacker — available in Google Play — dubs itself as "human-powered radio" that's "customized by you." (So the war between humans and machines continues here.) The free service is ad-supported. You can dish out $3.99 a month to listen to individual songs (sans ads), or $9.99 a month for full albums.

The Slacker interface in Android Auto is blissfully simple. The menus don't go too deep — I've yet to run into the dreaded "Can't show you anymore info now because you tapped too many times even though it's not really your fault" warning. You get album art but no distracting icons. And the Now Play screen gives you play/pause, forward, and hart/ban buttons. There's also a track listing button, but I've not really found it all that useful because it shows you what you've already listened to instead of what's coming up — and that's including the titles of the old-school DJ-esque announcements you get periodically. (And it's not that those are bad in and of themselves — I just don't need to see them in a track list. But I get why they're there.)

All in all, Slacker's a capable app on Android Auto. (And, of course, on your phone.) The categories are easy to navigate. There are news options for those who still like to find out what's going on from time to time. The question is whether Slacker stands out above the rest that are out there. I moved on some time ago. But if you're still among the Slacker faithful, this isn't a bad addition to your Android Auto collection.

Phil Nickinson