FM radio on your smartphone

Smartphones have a built-in FM radio chip and yet you do not see FM.


It has been disabled.

The mobile networks make money by selling expensive data.

Android, and the smartphones collect personal data on you.

It is worthwhile therefore trying downloading an app that turns on your FM chip, and you can then use as an FM radio.

Whether this will work on a tablet, I do not know, but it is worth giving it a  try.

As well as giving much better listening and saving on data, it also saves on battery life.

A rare win-win-win.

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14 Responses to “FM radio on your smartphone”

  1. Peter Coulson Says:

    I don’t think the iPhone has an FM radio? The iPod Nano does.

    But anyway, in Europe, DAB is more relevant. More stations are available.

  2. keithpp Says:

    That there is digital radio, that there is streaming (a data and battery hog), does not make FM irrelevant.

    If an Android smartphone or tablet has an FM chip, then FM radio should be turned on. Users should have a choice.

  3. Peter Coulson Says:

    Just there are far less stations on FM. DAB has a lot more choice and is broadcast free to air just the same as FM is, it’s not streamed – after all, it’s what’s in most cars now.

  4. keithpp Says:

    It always helps to read and comprehend what is written, before making a public fool of oneself.

    DAB is streamed via the radio ether.

    But I actually said, there is digital radio, (meaning on air) and there is streaming (over the internet).

    This should have be obvious, as I qualified a data and battery hog.

    What is in cars, is of no relevance.

    In an emergency, as was found in New York when Sandy hit, FM is vital, as the mobile networks collapses.

    There already is a FM chip in Android smartphones (possibly tablets too), only it is not being used. If it is there, use it.

    I have never understood those who wish to deny others choice.

  5. Peter Coulson Says:

    I think one problem will be the ITU in the EU want to switch off FM, so there’s little motivation to promote it, or legislate to use it more. DAB uses radio spectrum more efficiently. After 60 years it may be time to move on.

    • Peter Coulson Says:

      Community Radio stations can use DAB anyway, it’s effectively just a different modulation scheme, so it’s semantics, realistically. Phones should include DAB reception, but they won’t because the U.S. doesnt use DAB and that’s probably the prime market.

  6. keithpp Says:

    It is not time to move on, but maybe time to offer more.

    DAB does not replace FM, it offers an alternative. And of course creates a consumer markets.

    DAB more efficient? In what way? It would only use radio spectrum more efficiently if of lower quality.

    Yes, smartphones could use DAB chips, but maybe too big, maybe higher power drain.

    But at the moment, the have FM chips, and there is no reason why cannot be enabled.

    One should not replace the other. One supplement the other.

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  7. Peter Coulson Says:

    DAB is more efficient as it’s not prone to interference in the same way as FM and you can put more local stations on the same frequency. Apart from that, multiple stations fit on one wideband channel, all at CD quality. It’s much easier to localise DAB stations. You just have to look at how many stations you get on DAB compared with FM to understand how much more is available.

    There’s a lot of pressure to release bandwidth being used by inefficient analogue transmissions in the same way that analogue TV has already been switched off in favour of digital.

  8. Peter Coulson Says: This is interesting.

  9. keithpp Says:

    Digital either works or it does not, no in-between no slow degradation.

    FM occupies more bandwidth because of higher audio quality.

    Commercial pressure to rid FM radio.

  10. keithpp Says:

    I have done a quick check on Google Play.

    All what claim to be FM tuners are not, they are apps that stream over the net FM stations.

    What I want, an FM that enables the FM radio chip. It will either have scale showing the frequencies and a slider, or a digital display of frequency.

    Anyone come across such an app, please post details.

    In main article, I list an app, but it will not download to UK.

  11. Peter Coulson Says:

    …and the iPhone app does not exist, mind you there is no FM (or DAB) chip in the iPhone.

  12. Peter Coulson Says:

    Did you try downloading using a tor site?

  13. keithpp Says:

    I am not interested in iPhone.

    I explicitly said Android smartphones.

    If there are Android FM tuner apps, then I would be interested. Even more so, experience of using.

    This is something FairPhone need to address at design stage.

    Android apps are falsely claiming to be FM tuners when they are not. They stream FM stations of the net.

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