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AT&T will soon require working FM radio chips in all Android smartphones

AT&T will reportedly require Android smartphone makers to include active FM radio chips in their phones from 2016 onwards, and is also urging OEMs to turn on this feature in as many current devices as it can.
By
July 29, 2015
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With the slew of great content available at all times on the internet, it might be easy to think that conventional radio access in smartphones is becoming more unnecessary as time goes on. For years smartphone manufacturers have included chips in their hardware that can access the radio, though finding devices that actually have this feature turned on can prove to be somewhat difficult, at least in today’s market. Thanks to AT&T, though, OEMs will be required to turn on these FM radio chips in their handsets if they want to sell phones through the carrier.

According to RadioWorld, AT&T will require Android smartphone manufacturers to include active FM radio chips in their phones from 2016 onwards, and is also urging OEMs to turn on this feature in as many current devices as it can. These radios can normally be turned on via a simple software update from the manufacturer, provided the phones have the proper hardware in place to support the feature.

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As of right now, we don’t have confirmation from the carrier about its big plans for radio, so none of this information is set in stone quite yet. There’s also no real explanation at this time for AT&T’s upcoming initiative. Our best guess is that FM radio not only reduces the need for streaming audio, but also acts as a reliable way to get important information during emergency situations.

We’ll be sure to keep you updated when it comes to the carrier’s FM radio initiative. But for now, tell us – is support for FM radio an attractive feature to you, or do you think you’ll stick with streaming music and podcasts to fulfill your listening needs?