How to Enable FM Radio on Android
Enable FM Radio On Android The headphone jack on mobile phones is capable of being used as an FM radio antenna. Unfortunately, most carriers disable the chip.
This is a shame, as many people like to listen to real local FM stations (which are not subject to ad bombardment or ‘curated’ lists). Plus, FM radio can be useful during power outages and emergencies.
Enabling FM radio on an Android device varies depending on the device model and manufacturer, as not all Android smartphones have built-in FM radio capabilities. However, for devices that do support FM radio, the process is generally straightforward. In this guide, I’ll provide a step-by-step overview of how to enable FM radio on Android devices, assuming the hardware supports it.
Step 1: Verify Device Compatibility
Before attempting to enable FM radio, confirm whether your Android device has FM radio hardware. Not all smartphones come equipped with an FM radio chip. To check, you can consult the device’s specifications on the manufacturer’s website or look for the FM radio feature in the official documentation.
2: Install an FM Radio App
If your device supports FM radio, but there’s no pre-installed app, you may need to download an FM radio app from the Google Play Store. Popular FM radio apps include Next Radio, Spirit FM, and Radio FM. Search for these apps in the Play Store and install the one that suits your preferences.
3: Connect Wired Headphones
Most Android devices use wired headphones as an antenna for FM radio reception. Connect your headphones to the device, ensuring they are properly plugged in. Some smartphones won’t activate the FM radio feature unless headphones are connected.
4: Launch the FM Radio App
Open the installed FM radio app on your Android device. Upon launching the app, it will start scanning for available radio stations. Follow any on-screen instructions to complete the initial setup.
5: Tune In to a Station
Once the app has finished scanning, you should see a list of available radio stations. Select the station you want to listen to, and the app will tune in to that frequency. You can use on-screen controls or buttons on your headphones to navigate between stations.
6: Troubleshoot Reception Issues
If you encounter poor reception or signal issues, try adjusting the headphone cable or changing your location. Buildings and obstacles can interfere with FM radio signals, so moving to an open area may improve reception.
7: Explore Additional Features
Some FM radio apps offer additional features such as station presets, recording capabilities, and program information. Explore the app settings to familiarize yourself with these options and customize your FM radio experience.
8: Check for System Updates
Ensure that your Android operating system is up-to-date. Manufacturers often release updates that include improvements and bug fixes. Go to your device’s settings, navigate to the system updates section, and check for any available updates.
9: Use the Stock Radio App (If Available)
Certain Android devices come with a pre-installed stock radio app. If this is the case for your device, check the app drawer or system settings to locate and open the stock radio application. Follow the on-screen instructions to set it up and start listening to FM radio.
10: Explore Third-Party Options
If you’re not satisfied with the pre-installed or downloaded FM radio app, you can explore alternative options from the Google Play Store. There are various apps with different features and interfaces, so you can choose the one that best suits your preferences.
In summary, enabling FM radio on an Android device involves confirming compatibility, installing an FM radio app, connecting wired headphones, launching the app, tuning in to a station, troubleshooting reception issues, exploring additional features, checking for system updates, and using the stock radio app if available. Following these steps should help you enjoy FM radio on your Android device, provided it has the necessary hardware support.
What is FM radio?
FM radio is a way to listen to local radio stations on your Android smartphone without using data. Whether you want to listen to your favorite songs or stay up to date on school closings and weather warnings, FM radio is a great option. You can even listen to stations from different regions if you have a global app like Next Radio.
Most Android phones come with an FM tuner, but many carriers disable access to this feature. This is a common tactic for mobile service providers, as it allows them to sell you streaming services and encourages you to use more data. Fortunately, some third-party apps allow you to unlock your phone’s FM chip.
A good option is Motorola’s FM Radio app, which is available in the Play Store. It’s simple and easy to use, although you will need wired headphones to listen to FM radio. The wires in your headphones act as an antenna to pick up the FM signal, and the radio app converts it into listenable content.
Other apps that let you enable FM on Android include Next Radio and Simple Radio, both of which have a large library of stations from around the world. These apps work by enabling the FM chip in your Android phone and then streaming the broadcasts through the internet. While this isn’t as convenient as listening to FM radio directly, it can save you data and battery life.
How to enable FM radio on Android?
Most Android smartphones have FM radio chips built in, but they’re typically disabled by default because most smartphone owners rely on streaming music apps instead. Fortunately, a few third-party apps can unlock these chips and enable users to stream local FM stations without using their data plan.
The most popular option is Next Radio, which works on a variety of Samsung phones and some other brands as well. The app can be downloaded from the Play Store, and it requires a wired headphone or headset to work (the earphone cord acts as an antenna). Once launched, the app will scan for available stations and begin playing them automatically. The app’s interface is simple and intuitive, making it easy to find and select stations to listen to.
If you don’t have Next Radio installed on your phone, try installing iHeartRadio or Tune In Radio, which both offer similar functionality and feature a massive library of radio stations in more than 234 countries, regions, and languages. These apps are also useful in the event of a data network outage, as they will turn to your device’s built-in FM chip for broadcasts instead of over the internet.
Some manufacturers also include an FM radio app with their flagship phones, but they’re often difficult to find in the Play Store and may not work properly on high-end new devices. For example, Samsung USA worked with Emmis to activate their FM radio app on Samsung S2 and S7 models in 2018, but the app has been deactivated for all other Galaxy smartphones since 2019.
How to get an FM radio app on Android?
There are a few different ways to get an FM radio app on your Android device. Regardless of which app you choose, most have a ‘Scan’ or ‘Tune’ option that allows you to discover local stations. Once you’ve found stations that you like, you can add them to your favorites for easy access in the future.
In recent years, many smartphone manufacturers have added FM chips to their devices. However, these chips are often disabled by default and require a separate app to unlock them. Samsung, HTC and LG are some of the phone makers that have activated their FM chips, while Motorola and Nokia are among those who have kept theirs turned off.
To use an FM radio app on your Android device, you will need a phone with an activated FM chip, wired headphones or speakers and an app that can access the chip. Next Radio is a popular app that can turn your Android into an FM radio, and it has a list of supported devices and carriers.
If your Android is not compatible with Next Radio, there are other apps that can access the FM chip, including a free one called Radio FM. While these apps don’t provide as many stations, they can still help you stay informed during emergencies when cellular and Wi-Fi networks may fail.
How to get an FM radio receiver on Android?
Although FM chips are found in all phones, they’re usually turned off by the manufacturer and wireless carriers so you can only access your local radio stations via streaming apps (and that doesn’t always cover all available stations). Luckily, apps like Next Radio can unlock your phone’s FM radio chip.
First, check if your phone has an activated FM chip by downloading Next Radio and tapping on the radio icon in your home screen or Apps drawer. If the app confirms that your device has a working FM receiver, plug in a pair of wired headphones or earbuds and swipe left on the app’s interface. Your headphone’s cord acts as an antenna to pick up FM waves, which are much longer than cellular waves.
You should hear a static-free signal after a while, and the app’s main menu will appear. If you don’t, tap on the button in the upper-right corner of the app and choose “Audio output” to switch back to playing your audio through the internal speaker.
While it’s not as useful as online radio for some, turning your phone into a basic FM radio can be beneficial in emergency situations where cell service and internet are down, or just to save data usage during long trips. The best part is that you can keep using the FM radio even after you get home or leave your country, as long as your device has a working FM receiver chip.