Unlike similar apps we’ve seen, GestureMusic ($1) presents pops up a Help screen before you even get started, so you know exactly what you need to do to control it. Like other well-designed car music apps we’ve seen, it asks you to decide what you’d like to listen to before you engage the accelerator, and you have two options: picking an entire playlist from your phone’s iPod app, or choosing songs one-by-one to create a custom queue for your drive. Then, you decide in advance whether you want shuffle or normal playback — a nice safety feature, because the less you’re doing while in motion, the better.
A nicely-laid-out help screen explains the gesture controls, which are fairly standard (tap to play/pause, swipe up to increase volume, etc.) for controlling playback once you’re in motion. In addition, you can toggle the swiping so that left-to-right either advances to the next song or reverts to the previous one.
Unlike most other car music apps, GestureMusic lets you fast forward or rewind within a song (by swiping your finger then pressing) and lets you disable your phone’s Sleep Mode from within the app, which kills battery but keeps your screen active, so that you don’t have to press the Home button every time you want to do something.
A bonus for fans of classical music: GestureMusic is the only car music app we’ve tested so far that lets you toggle to Composer instead of Artist. (Classical fans generally want to navigate by composer rather than orchestra.)
We had only one nitpick with this one, which is that if you get to the end of an on-the-fly playlist, it’s gone — as in you can’t swipe back to re-enter it — but that’s a relatively minor issue.