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xdlpoooj wrote (edited )

Mobile customers would be a lot less likely to subscribe to streaming music services if they could just listen to traditional, free broadcast radio.

This isn't true.

For one, because FM radios were already disabled before online music subscriptions, or even before smartphones capable of running them existed. Anecdotally, I remember radio being possible, but disabled, in my Nokia.

For other, FM radio does not come close to competing against the variety of music available in streaming music services.

I don't see where the journalist got this quote. He doesn't back it up with any source or explanation. It's his personal conjecture. Shady.

Also, Apple is right: there are no radio antennas in its newest iPhone. Why? Because it has no headphone jack to allow them to work properly. Or a radio chip at all.

The older iPhones do support FM, though. The antenna would be the headphones or your whole body. You'd get crappy reception, though.

The FCC wants cellular communications to be up during catastrophes? Then pass laws that would demand carriers to include a backup generator with every cellphone tower. This is why landlines are usually up during an emergency, but not cellphone network: they're legally forced to have backup generators for landlines.

The FCC wants people to have FM radios? Have they considered just... you know... telling people to buy a $5 radio for emergencies? Because for phones to have good radio reception they're gonna need a large, unsightly antenna. Would people buy a phone like this? Probably.



Defasher wrote

Any hacks to enable the radios?


________deleted wrote

Looks like a jailbreak would cure it.

Not that most people here can afford iphones.


Wibbly_Wobbly wrote

I've looked into this a lot, and it seems to be that though the chip is there, there are other hardware changes needed to access it.


23i wrote

solution for android?


periol wrote

Download the NextRadio app - if the chip isn't disabled it should work, and it will tell you right away if it's compatible with your phone. Uses your headphones as antenna. In the US works well w/ Sprint, YMMV on other carriers.


23i wrote (edited )

sadly, my phone apparently isn't. :( which is kind of unbelieveable, since I have an old dumbphone that could theoretically do that.


bobpaul wrote

A few things.

  • Not all Bluetooth chipsets have FM receivers.

  • If it exists, the FM receiver only works if the antenna pin is connected (generally to the headphone ground, but a dedicated antenna can also be used).

  • Phones that both have a receiver AND have it connected to an antenna generally list FM radio in the specs and come with FM radio software.

With regards to the iPhone specifically, the latest iPhones don't even have a headphone jack and they certainly don't have a dedicated FM antenna. Apple claims they use a chipset that lacks FM.


fontoc wrote

It's a bit more complicated that just "switching on the radio chip".

Anyone who designs radios knows that putting a radio near a computer is incredibly difficult, simply because computers generate so much radio hash.

My guess is that the reason that the FM part of the chip is not enabled, is that they couldn't get reasonable reception without a crazy amount of shielding.


mister_the_loaf wrote (edited )

"they're disabled by the companies because then consumers wouldn't pay for online music subscriptions"

Anyone who believes this has never actually listened to a radio station at any point in the last 25 years. Wall to wall commercials, occasionally interrupted by 4 minutes of music. Unless you really, really enjoy listening to commercials, radio has nothing to offer.


periol wrote

Gonna have to disagree with you. Sure, radio stations suck with their commercials, but there would be way fewer people paying for streaming music if they knew they could just open an app on their phone and play the radio. I would never pay either way, but radio is convenient and a known entity for people, even with the commercials. How else were the tech companies going to do their 'disrupting'?


[deleted] wrote (edited )