App Review: Swell Radio for iOS

New iOS App Swell Radio is Just Swell

Swell Radio ScreenLast week, an ad for the “Swell Radio” iOS app, crept its way into my Facebook News Feed and I was compelled to try it out. Describing itself as, “The most delightful way to listen to audio news and information,” I definitely wanted to know more.

I love listening to podcasts, but I find myself relying on a handful of favorite sources instead of seeking out new ones, since most podcasts sound like they are recorded in a basement and don’t publish enough fresh content to stay relevant. On top of this, I am usually driving already, so seeking out new “favorite-worthy” podcasts on my current internet radio app just isn’t feasible most of the time.

High Quality Podcasts from Top Sources

Swell Radio uses an heuristic algorithm to curate and play news and information from many top sources in crisp, ear pleasing quality and delivers it all through a sleek, easy to use (even while driving) interface. Podcasts are fetched from top sites and organizations such as: ABC, BBC, CBC, ESPN, NPR, TED, WSJ, and countless more! Yesterday, I stumbled across a podcast from Adam Savage, my favorite Mythbuster! Without this app, I wouldn’t have known that he even had a podcast!

Easy to Use with Intuitive User Interface

As soon as you start the app, the information starts to play in very high quality. Swipe right-to-left to jump to the next podcast, or swipe left-to-right to go back to the one that you just skipped. If you want to fine-tune your listening, tap the “Swell” logo at the top of the screen to zero in on a category that you’d like to listen to! Swell will then play 3 podcasts in a row from the selected category. Swell Radio offers podcasts in the following categories, presented in tag cloud style:

  • Swell Radio Topics ScreenMusic

  • TV & Film

  • Science

  • Lifestyle

  • Family

  • Culture

  • Spirituality

  • Comedy

  • Business

  • News

  • Sports

  • Technology

  • Arts

Swell Radio Share Options imageSpread the Word

Like any good app these days, Swell Radio lets you share content on your favorite social network or via email with the touch of a button. The creators of the app say that you can even link your Twitter profile to the app to have the algorithm search for topics similar to those that you have tweeted about.

This will not replace your current Podcast App…. yet.

Swell Radio is a great new app and certainly the answer to the question, “What do you get the iphone that already has everything?”, but it is not the be-all and end-all of podcast apps because it does not give its users the ability to bookmark their favorite news sources. Having new info algorithmically hand-picked for me is nice, but I have my shortlist of favorite podcasts that I tune into every week and for the time being, I need  to rely on my current app to do that. This is something that I’d like to see included in future versions of the app.

Although Swell Radio is not ready to take over as my primary podcast-listening app, it is certainly a welcome addition to my iphone and a worthwhile supplement to your current podcast app.


Swell Radio is available on all iOS devices and is available for free right now in the App Store.

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