Apple CarPlay is a system that allows you to use your car’s infotainment screen as a display screen for an iOS device.
That means you can turn that or any screen into a giant phone screen, but not all apps work with Apple CarPlay. If you want to listen to radio stations as you cruise, you’ll need third-party radio apps.
Here’s a round-up of the best Apple CarPlay radio apps:
- TuneIn Radio
- RealPlayer App
- Dash Radio
In summary, our recommended best CarPlay radio app is: TuneIn Radio
In this article, I’ll take an in-depth look at what these Apple CarPlay radio apps offer. I’ll focus on their features, pros, and cons. In the end, you can choose the best option for a better driving experience.
Table of Contents
1. TuneIn Radio
The TuneIn Radio app offers access to over 100,000 radio stations, plenty of podcasts, and other media from all around the world. Most of the major American radio stations are available on TuneIn, and it is one of the more user-friendly Apple CarPlay radio apps.
You can pay a one-time fee to upgrade to Tunein Radio Pro to use the app without ads. TuneIn Radio Premium is a subscription service that offers extra features such as NFL and MLB games.
Best Feature: User-friendly interface and thousands of stations available.
Drawback: Some stations stop streaming through the app and are unavailable.
iHeartRadio operates a streaming platform and radio broadcasting service that is widely considered the largest radio platform in the US. Its CarPlay app gives users free access to a sizable library of radio stations from the US and abroad.
The app creates a personalized radio station based on listening history. It also plays podcasts and other media, but it is well-known for bringing global radio stations to US audiences.
Other options include sharing songs or stations with friends and using Siri to control the app easily while driving.
Best Feature: Wide selection of radio stations.
Drawback: The free version only allows a limited number of skips. Not available in the United Kingdom
See our dedicated article on the iHeartRadio Carplay app
3. RealPlayer App
You may already be familiar with the RealPlayer brand, as it has been available for almost three decades. The app is now available for CarPlay and works seamlessly without logging in.
One of the best options is that it allows drivers to tune in to some radio stations that have lost compatibility with Apple Music.
It’s also free to use, making it a prime choice for most users. You can also use the RealPlayer app to play downloaded music, podcasts, and movies. It may not be the most glamorous option available, but it works. The favorites list makes switching between stations a breeze.
Best Feature: Favorites list.
Drawback: The user interface isn’t as good as other options.
With this app, users can access thousands of global radio stations using a simplified user interface. RadioApp promises a clutter-free experience for users.
The app also offers listening history and easy swiping between stations.
Loading times are considerably fast. Also, it is one of the few Apple CarPlay radio apps that reload after a phone call or message.
Best Feature: Clutter-free user interface.
Drawback: No podcasts or other media.
5. Dash Radio
Although this app offers only 75 ad-free stations, it’s the app that feels most like the old days of radio.
Dash Radio features real DJs curating playlists. Despite the absence of ads, the app is entirely free to use.
On this app, real people choose music based on their taste, ignoring market research and computerized playlists. Users report that this feels like an actual radio station and not an app.
The music stations are organized according to genres, and the app does not stop for breaks. Parents can filter out explicit lyrics when listening, a feature most other platforms don’t offer.
Best Feature: Real DJs curating music playlists 24/7.
Drawback: Smaller selection of channels compared to other apps.
If you live in the UK (or just prefer British radio stations), the RadioPlayer app is an excellent choice. It is compatible with Apple CarPlay and plays thousands of stations, including the BBC. There are no ads or fees to worry about, and the app also doesn’t require registration.
The app notifies you of new episodes for any shows marked ‘favorite,’ and it uses less data than most radio apps.
The app has a partnership with the BBC and many major broadcasting stations in the UK to deliver news, podcasts, and radio. The large selection of radio stations is constantly updated, covering all genres.
Best Feature: Low mobile data usage.
Drawback: Only plays UK radio stations, with no US or global stations available.
Although it is technically a music streaming service, Spotify can be considered a radio app. It is highly popular for the low monthly subscription and the free option with ads.
The platform offers access to a massive library of artists, and billions of people use it.
Users can play millions of songs on Spotify with a generous number of skips for the free version.
The app is also well known for attracting independent artists and rising stars in the music industry. You can also listen to thousands of podcasts through the app. All users can create playlists or tune into their friend’s playlists.
Spotify Premium users can download music to play without mobile data, and the app is easily accessible via multiple platforms.
Best Feature: Large selection of music, including independent artists.
Drawback: Free version allows limited skips.
See our full article on the CarPlay Spotify app.
Other CarPlay Radio Apps: Not mentioned
Here are some other available carplay radio apps that we didn’t mention:
Quite a few…
- KISS KUBE
- BBC Sounds
- Radio Buddy
- Scout FM
- Global Player
- nRadio Internet Radio App
- BBC iPlayer
- SiriusXM Radio
- Delaware 105.9
- Connect FM
- Christian FM App
- Cat Country 97.5
- A1A 107.1
- 1280 WNAM
- 105.5 The Game
- 104.9 The Beat
- 106.3 Spin FM
- SomaFM Radio Player
- 104.7 The Bear
- 104.3 The Vibe
- 104-5 The Zone
- 102.7 The Vibe
- 102 The Bear
- 100.9 The Bandit
- 100.1 FM The X – It’s All About the Music
- 99.9 KLUR – Texoma’s Country Leader
- 99.5 WKDQ – Evansville Country Radio
- 98.1 KHAK
- 97.5 WABD
- 96.1 Jamz
- 95.1 KBBY
- 93.1 WZAK
- 92.5 The Wolf KWOF
- 94.1 WHRP
- 94.5 The Hawk
- Alt 939
- Rock 103 WJAD
- 105.7 The X Rocks
- Soft Rock 94.1
- The Gospel Station
- Free Beer and Hot Wings Show
- K99 – Fort Collins Country Radio (KUAD)
- AM 1240 WJON – St. Cloud News Radio
- Newstalk KGVO – Missoula News Radio
- 96.3 The Blaze
- NJ 101.5
- Q 97.9 Hit Music (WJBQ)
- 101.5 WPDH
- 94.3 The Point
- Fun 107 – The Southcoast’s #1 Hit Music Station
- 94.9 KYSS – Real Country
- BIG FROG 104 – The Best And Most Country
- 93.3 WMMR – Everything That Rocks
- News Beat Radio
- NPR News
- StreamS HiFi Radio
- HOT 107.9
- NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN
- Hot 93.3 KLIF
- La Exitosa
- B 98.5
- The Dan Patrick Show
- NASH FM 94.7
- Radio Aggieland
- Radio 103.9
- 95.7 THE VIBE
- NASH FM 92.3 KSJO
- 103.5 WGRR
- Pure Rock 96
- 99.5 the Wolf KPLX
- KFOG FM
- MajicATL 107.5
- 104.1 KRBE
- The Breeze @ 93.7 HD2
- Nash FM 102.9
- Hot 103.3
- NPR One
- 89 WLS
- 98.3 The Vibe
- Mix 107.3
- 102.1 Nash Icon
- 94.9 The Vibe
- NASH FM 93.1
- 1700 The Champ
- 102.5 The Underground
- WUUQ Radio
- Nostalgie Radio
- NRJ Radio
- Chérie FM Radio
- Rire et Chansons Radio
- Orange Radio