Having the ability to play music from your mobile device sounds great, in theory. To be able to access your vast iTunes library and listen to it on the go while you drive is a great idea, and one that is enjoyed by millions.
Most of the time, it works great, especially if you just listen to music without skipping or changing songs. It always kind of feels like what playlists were designed around. However, there are some issues when actually trying to do this in the car, especially when you are on your own. Finding the right buttons to pause, play or skip tracks on an iPhone screen isn’t just tricky; it is downright dangerous.
That is where the fabulous Skiplayer comes in. The app lets you play shuffled songs from your iTunes library, which may sound like a whole lot of music apps out there, but this one is truly designed around using the app while in your car, making sure that as little time and attention is spent looking at your phone screen as is possible.
To this end the app has a great main feature: a full screen play/pause button. This means that you can tap the screen and the music will either pause or play, depending on the context, and without looking at the screen at all, provided you know the general location of the iPhone.
That main feature is sublime for drivers, but it gets better. The app uses gestures to perform functions that are slightly more complex than just the play button. Swiping left or right on the screen will skip backwards and forwards through songs, and if you have a little more time, you can tap and hold to get access to options like making a song a favourite. If there is a song that keeps coming up and you don’t want to hear it again, you can also choose to ‘skip it forever’, both in the playing screen and also in your song list.
It is also possible to use your car’s actual media buttons to ‘skip forever’, by tapping fast forward twice, which is a very neat little touch.
Now, some of that may sound a little complex, but you really only need to know that tapping the screen pauses and plays, and swiping left and right will skip tracks. I have used this app while driving, and after a couple of tries, I can now skip tracks, pause and play without so much as a glance at my phone screen, and my hand only being off the wheel for a shorter time than changing the radio station takes. It really does work and is a great tool.
The app itself is well designed and attractive, with a blurred background and classy fonts making it very easy on the eye. The only thing I would like added is custom playlists. The user could curate them in between journeys, and maybe swiping up and down could switch playlists on the fly. I am sure the developer has tried this, so maybe it is a bit more complex to use in practice, but I would certainly welcome the option. The skip forever function is nice, but playlists would be a great addition.
Overall, this is a superb app that is well worth the tiny price of 99c. For drivers frustrated with current options, this really has to go down as an essential purchase.
Just buy it now, as Skiplayer is highly recommended.