Samsung Teams Up With TagStation To Enable FM Chips In Phones

According to a press release from NextRadio app owner TagStation LLC, Samsung will be the next major phone manufacturer to enable the dormant FM chips in its devices. The FM chips will be switched on in Samsung's "upcoming smartphone models," which will allow users to listen to local radio stations.

Most smartphones ship with FM chips, but they are usually not enabled for various reasons. FM Radio isn't just for music; it's useful in an emergency situation since it is more resilient and has a longer range than a cellular signal. FM stations can give people critical information even if a storm wipes out the local Internet infrastructure.

Further Reading

FCC chief Ajit Pai wants Apple to stop disabling FM radio chips in iPhones [Updated]In the wake of Hurricane Harvey,

 Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai issued a public statement calling on the wireless industry to activate these dormant FM chips to assist in emergency situations. So far, along with Samsung, LG, Motorola, and Alcatel have announced they will start enabling FM chips in their devices.

You won't get FM chips in older devices, probably because these have already passed the FCC, and activating a new radio would require them to go back through FCC certification. If Samsung's FM hardware is engineered like most smartphones, this will be yet another reason to want a headphone jack and a pair of wired headphones. Smartphone FM implementations usually use the headphone wire as the FM antenna, to the point that they will refuse to work without the headphones plugged in. Many people have switched to Bluetooth headphones, but unless Samsung starts including an internal FM antenna, wireless headphones probably just won't work with FM.

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