we7 has unveiled an app for smartphones running Google Android that allows users to create their own personal radio stations that can be listened to even when the handset is not within reach of an internet connection.

According to Steve Purdham, CEO of we7, the app, which is free to download from the Android Market, uses buffering and caching techniques to ensure users can still 'use it if you lose it' or continue to listen even if the net connection is dropped.

The beta version of the app offers a free ad-funded radio service "just like a normal commercial radio station", although users can pay a £9.99 monthly subscription that allows them to choose their own songs, albums and playlists.

"Mobile signals are unreliable for radio streaming but with the new we7 App you continuing to listen to your favourite music radio stations, regardless of connection," said Purdham.

"we7 radio lets you 'charge up' your mobile with great music, and will transform radio listening across Europe as smartphones become the primary connected mobile device in the next few years."

we7 apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch will be made available next month, with BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 versions following later this year.

'Becoming more like an internet radio service'

Last year, we7 online service moved away from on-demand music streaming in a bid to become more like an internet radio service.

Dubbed 'Internet Radio Plus' by the music service, we7 users were given the ability to enter an artist, song or album they like, and hit play. Rather than having to choose other songs, artists or albums to create their own personalised playlist, the site will automatically create a radio channel based on the user's selection. This radio channel can be played for as long as the user wishes.

See also: We7 offers two-week free trial of Android app