The beloved FM radio is getting a mobile revival with news that Samsung is teaming up with NextRadio to unlock the FM chips in new Samsung devices in the United States and Canada. Samsung is finally changing that.
With their FM chips unlocked, Samsung handset owners will be able to listen to free FM radio signals through the free NextRadio app. Samsung, like many other handset makers, has locked FM radio chips in the past, requiring you to stream FM radio signals from over the Internet to access channels.
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"Samsung should be lauded for taking this important step", said Paul Brenner, President of NextRadio powered by TagStation. LG made a similar move past year for the same reason, so Samsung felt like it needed to even the scales. The app allows users to connect to their local FM broadcast stations, which uses less battery life than streaming does, which can be vital in emergency areas that don't have power or wireless carrier signal. "They are providing their customers a more engaging, immersive radio experience and, as importantly, a means to connect with life-saving information in emergencies". On the heels of widespread natural disasters in Puerto Rico, Houston and the Florida coast, calls have increased for all phone manufacturers to unlock the FM Chip in smartphones as a public safety necessity. On Tuesday, TagStation, the developer of NextRadio, announced that the handset maker would unlock the necessary chips in upcoming phones bound for the U.S. and Canada.