Weekend Distraction: Swell Radio (it’s like Pandora, but it’s Talk)

Screen shot 2013-10-11 at 10.45.32 AM I only recently discovered this app, but it’s quickly becoming a favorite for me. And I’m not alone. Listener ratings are high, and it was selected as one of TIME’s Best iPhone Apps of 2013.

But let’s back up a bit. Remember Pandora? Pandora learns the music that you like and plays it. It’s a personalized radio.

And so …. Swell Radio operates on the same principle, but for TALK. It learns as you listen, and selects things for you that it thinks you will enjoy. You have the opportunity to click a thumb’s up button if you really like it. Swell will also pay attention to how long you listen to a particular selection, and will shape its offerings for YOU.

When you first bring up Swell on your iPhone or iPad, you’ll see these directions. They are very simple. No learning curve (for you). Swell will be doing all of the learning. πŸ™‚




I am a listener, and I listen to “talk” on my iPhone a LOT. I have many favorite podcasts such as A Way with Words and the Moth to name just two. But up until now, when I wanted to find something new, I had to sift through podcasts, reading reviews and getting recommendations. No more! Now I’m discovering new things all the time.

With Swell, you just start listening. If you like what you hear, enjoy. If you don’t, just swipe and move on. Swell will figure out your tastes, and select things for you based on your listening habits.

When presented with your listening screen, you can fast forward a bit, go back to something you missed, or pause and come back later.


If you tap on the screen, it will flip over and give you more information about whatever it is that you are listening to.


I’m enjoying this app. Although I swipe often, I’ve also had the lovely experience of some very new and interesting listens. I’ve heard things and been exposed to podcasts that I know I never would have found on my own.

Swell Radio is FREE in the iTunes store and can be used on your iPhone or iPad.

Screen shot 2013-09-09 at 9.35.25 PM


18 thoughts on “Weekend Distraction: Swell Radio (it’s like Pandora, but it’s Talk)

  1. Ron says:

    Can’t the iTunes radio in ios7 be customized to also be “talk radio” oriented? I haven’t seen any of your reviews yet of iTunes radio?
    Couldn’t it be set up to do what Swell Radio does?
    Again, thanks for all of your ‘tips tricks,secrets on ios7.

    • I have not done much yet with iTunes radio because I have been having some troubles with it. Once I sort it out, I’ll be sure to blog about my whole “adventure.”

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