Earlier this week Samsung announced that they will begin enabling the FM radio chips in their new phone models.They will be partnering with NextRadio to bring this to all users that also have the NextRadio app installed. NextRadio currently partners with other cell phone manufacturers such as HTC, Motorola, and LG and allows users to listen to local radio stations through the app.

NextRadio the FM radio app that allows users to tune into local radio stations to listen.

Radio Revisited

Despite the perception that radio is a dated technology that is quickly being replaced in a digital age, it is proving to be quite resilient to changes in society. Not only does radio still have a broad reach, it still reaches 54% of the US population daily, it has been adapted to better fit into our digital lifestyles. Now almost 64% of those radio users listen over the Internet. While radio is not still in it’s Golden Age this amount of reach still makes it the third most powerful medium to reach people in the United States. As it has been such a large part of the development of both our culture and technology it will most likely still be a long time until radio fully disappears.


A cartoonish looking radio dial. showing someone switching from AM to FM radio channels.


New Uses for Old Tricks

Samsung joins the list of other cell manufacturers that manufacture their products with already activated FM radio chips amid recent calls to use mobile phones as public safety concerns grow. After the devastating hurricane season of 2017, the FCC has called for all cell phone manufacturers to activate the chip. Before the storms, many cell networks bottlenecked because of the increased usage. This made it difficult for authorities to provide important safety information and also it became more difficult to communicate with family or loved ones. Then after the storms most cell signals were knocked out however radio signals were still able to be transmitted. These chips can be used to save lives and shore up communication networks potentially saving lives.

Many phones already have an FM radio chip installed however not all of them have activated, if you are interested in this but don’t want to purchase a new phone do a quick Google search to see if your phone has a chip and how to activate it.

Of course one can always use a signal booster to attempt to stay connected to cellular networks but you have to remember that boosters only amplify existing signals, they don’t create signals of their own.

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