Natural disasters in Puerto Rico, Houston and the Florida coast, have increased pressure on phone manufacturers to unlock the FM Chip in smartphones as a matter of public safety.
Either way, it's important to remember not just the convenience of the 1933-invented FM radio broadcasting technology, but also its vital potential of conveying life-saving information in emergency situations.
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Just months after the FCC badgered Apple to do it; Samsung has finally made a decision to unlock the FM chip on its upcoming smartphone models. With partial funding from NAB Labs, TagStation also developed the NextRadio® hybrid radio apps which use TagStation® cloud services to provide a rich radio listening experience on smartphones, tablets and connected cars by combining the devices' built-in tuner and the internet.
"Many smartphones in the world are manufactured with hardware capable of receiving free FM radio signals", a NextRadio blog post reads. By activating the FM chip, users will be able to stay up to date by easily disseminating information over the radio.
At the time, Apple claimed their newer phones didn't contain these chips to begin with and thus could not activate them upon request. But many iPhone users don't have the same luxury, as Apple confirmed to the FCC in September 2017 that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 do not include the FM radio chip.