LBC 97.3 for iPhone review

The UK's oldest commercial radio station, on air since 1973, has had an iPhone application for sometime, but it's only in recent days that the LBC 97.3 application has added the ability to more than listen. The update, from parent company Global Radio, offers the chance to continue listening while checking your Mail, for example. A new 'Play In Background' option simply opens the Safari browser while closing the application window.

With the exception of not being able to browse the internet or move away from the LBC homepage- via Safari - it works seamlessly. It's a big plus for anyone who likes the intimacy of talk radio without missing any of the chat. LBC also offers regular news, showbiz gossip, sports, travel and weather bulletins along with a range of more specialist shows at the weekends. A wide range of presenters, you'll love or hate, can prove addictive, even those that make you want to ring in to protest about.

This latest 2.0 update has been re-written from scratch and gives the LBC application a much needed facelift. The user interface has been tweaked to be more intuitive, interactive and useful. Brief presenter, travel and weather information are included along with details on how to contact the station by phone, text and email. Global Radio highlights AAC+ streaming, which the company says promises enhanced audio quality even on slow connections.

LBC, or 'London's Biggest Conversation', radio also boosts a fair amount of tech talk and Mac and iPhone fans amongst its presenters, including legendary broadcasters Clive Bull and Steve Allen, Anthony Davis, Petrie Hosken and Gadget Guru Darren Tossell. Thanks to DAB radio in the UK, satellite across parts of Europe, and the internet worldwide, LBC now attracts a less London centric audience, which is all the better for creating a varied conversation.

The 'Play In Background' update applies to a range of applications from Global Radio, including those covering XFM, Classic FM, 95.8 Capital FM, Galaxy, Gold, Heart and a host of regional radio stations. While, like LBC, all are free, the makers point out that the application can download a fair amount of data for anyone conscious of monthly data limits.

OUR VERDICT

The LBC 97.3 application has been completely re-written and is all the better for it. Global Radio should be applauded for adding the ability to continue listening to one of several radio stations while checking email and the like. If you enjoy lively conversation that flows free of musical breaks and editorial agendas then LBC is for you.

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