Mobile news app inspired by shortwave radio

1radionewsprocollagesmMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Cuff, for sharing the following article from The following is an excerpt:

Twin Cities developer creates ‘shortwave radio’ app for world news

By Julio Ojeda-Zapata

Smartphone users have no shortage of radio-style apps that will stream news-and-information programming to them over the Internet.

But app developers are always in search of niches within well-populated app categories, and Twin Cities resident Steven Clift thinks he’s found one.

He’s released an app called 1 Radio News that provides news-related audio from around the world for English speakers who are eager to keep up on the latest global happenings.

But, unlike other such apps like TuneIn Radio and iHeartRadio that are crammed with hundreds or thousands of audio sources, 1 Radio News aggressively culls options to just a few dozen.

[…]Clift is known in local Internet circles as the executive director of, a network of neighborhood forums that also has served as an election-information site. This is Clift’s first foray into app publishing.

[…]Clift’s app is no Android blockbuster yet, but he said he’s seen interest from all over the world — notably of late from unexpected locales like Malaysia, Nigeria and Pakistan.

For Clift, the app is in a way the realization of a childhood dream. When he was growing up in Winona, Minn., the geography where he lived made TV reception problematic. But he had little trouble pulling in short-wave radio signals from around the world.

Now, his app “turns a phone into a global short-wave radio filled with high-quality news sources from all over the world,” he said.

Read the full article on

You can find Clift’s app, 1 Radio News, on Google Play.

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11 thoughts on “Mobile news app inspired by shortwave radio

  1. Steven Clift

    I just spent the holidays tripling the number of English language news/talk/culture radio stations in the “pro” version of the app.

    Some details:

    P.S. If there is a way to embed this into Raspberry Pi, let me know! That sounds fun. When we reach 10,000 active installs I’ll be considering options for other platforms like Roku, Google TV, iOS, etc. The HARD part of this is the curation of quality radio streams and presenting them in an easy to use/useful way.

  2. London Shortwave

    I think this is a fantastic idea. One of the great things about shortwave radio is that it deals with the “Paradox of Choice” phenomenon naturally by limiting the available bandwidth to broadcasters with both the sufficient resources and enough of a mission to bring high-quality, culturally significant content to listeners around the world. However, the smartphone for me is still a device that is rife with distractions. One of the reasons I love using a radio is that when I have it in my hands, I make a commitment to focus on what I’m listening to and get so much more out of the whole experience. I would love to see a dedicated device based around this exact same concept. Perhaps this can make for a fun Hackaday Raspberry Pi project!

  3. Steven Clift

    Thanks for the mention!

    I had a private email in my draft box for Tom … here, I’ll share with all:

    Thomas, Ken Reitz suggested you would be a good person to reach out to about my app.

    In the days before the Internet, I can remember taking my shortwave radio up to my Grandparents in far northern Minnesota. I’d have the time to be “closer to the world” by listening global broadcasters like the BBC World Service and be intrigued by Cold War broadcasts from the Soviet Union and Cuba giving a decidedly different view.

    As my Uncle gave me my first shortwave radio, what might one give to a teen today to easily expose them to the world of truly global news. Now there is an app for that: 🙂

    In 1993, when I first went online, my novice thought was this might be like “reception clear shortwave.” Going to the world.

    I had forgotten that early thought until a few days ago when I added 30+ live English news streams from broadcasters around the world into the pro version of my Android radio app.

    I started channel surfing … what’s on here, fun, OK how about this station. What are Radio Sputnik and Radio China International up to … oh and Wisconsin Public Radio has some great original programming. So now I can go even deeper in my explorations of the voices around the world. I could discover radio, discover the world again through the power of sound and the human voice right on my mobile – quickly and easily.

    FYI – “Pro” version has 3 times more – curated and well tested – streams, but the free ad-supported version has some classics like the BBC World Service. I tied to make the app “thumbable” meaning you can just hold the phone and swipe and press a button to play. Super simple and a lot quicker than apps with literally ten of thousands of stations. Saving ten seconds to switch the station matters!

    1. Erica Cole

      1 radio news equivalent for iPhone

      I too wish 1 radio news were available for iPhone. The nearest thing I know of however is an app called “hourly news. It allows you to listen to latest news bulletins from various news outlets.
      Most news sources included are American broadcasters, but it does have Deutsche Welle, RTHK and VOA. You can also add podcast feeds to expand what you can hear. I hope this is useful to you all. a


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