back to article Bloggy thing signals iPhone FM radio

Apple is developing an FM radio application for the iPhone and the iPod touch, according to an anonymous source speaking to a blog. Yesterday, the 9to5Mac blog told the world that Apple's radio will operate in the background on the iPhone and iPod touch while offering all the same stuff as the FM radio built into the new iPod …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Getting there

    Another reason I didn't get an iphone looks like it's gonna fall... wonder when the thing'll be allowed to multitask apps though? Muppets.

    (And to be fair, it looks like it might fall in style too - the ability to pause/timeshift radio is a great and very Apple take on adding a radio to a phone.)

  2. Anonymous Coward

    It will probably..

    be locked so you can only listen to Apple approved radio stations!

    The flameproof one please...

  3. Michael C
    Thumb Up

    latest iPod chip?

    How about the existing 3Gs chip? ...or is it gonna be some dock port hack-on chip again?

    Also, I'm FAR FAR FAR more interested in the FM "Broadcast" ability of this chip than in receive (except to account for scanning for a clear broadcast chanel).

    Apple needs to integrate an API for background "feeds" as well as FM and iPod playback so we can begin to use things like Pandora or other internet streaming radio as a background app as well.

  4. Ian Ferguson

    Re. Michael C

    "Apple needs to integrate an API..."

    Apple won't do anything unless it provides them with a revenue stream. Internet streaming radio provides nothing to them. The only way we'll end up with streaming music is if they build it into iTunes (which, actually, won't surprise me).

    Likewise, the FM capability will only be released once they have this revenue stream going - the ability to purchase songs you've listened to.

    It's a shame, as the iPhone / iPod are capable of a hell of a lot more than Apple allow them to; but to be fair, they're catering to the mass market, not hackers and gadget freaks, so they'll never let them be truly innovative.

  5. Robert Hill
    Jobs Halo

    @Ian Ferguson

    Umm, what revenue stream does Apple make from the EXISTING radio streaming function built into iTunes for the PC/Mac?

    And it's not that Apple doesn't ALLOW the iPhone to be better: you have to remember that a lot of what you think of as innovative in the mobile space is exactly what Apple spent a lot of time taking OUT of OS X to fit it to the iPhone platform. The reason: "truly innovative" usually means "buggy, flakey, and occasionally slipshod". All of which is a very un-Apple user experience. And multitasking on handsets is usually all of the above, due to hardware limitations. I think Apple's approach (you have read the Apple iPhone design guidelines, haven't you?) towards guiding developers into small, quick-to-change applets is actually better for a handheld device - and of course Apple provides for exceptions to that, such as full-screen games and content.

    - and it was done deliberately for all the reasons above,

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Ian Ferguson

    Michael C: "Apple needs to integrate an API..."

    Ian Ferguson: "Apple won't do anything unless it provides them with a revenue stream."

    You mean, like the way Apple didn't eventually make an API for Bluetooth? I guess you could argue that was done to appease 3rd party peripherals manufacturers (which indirectly provides a revenue stream - witness all the peripherals that boost the popularity of the iPod), but nevertheless, it was still an open API that all developers could use.

  7. Nick 6

    Help me

    I'm sure that Apple will protect me from confusing and suspect radio stations which don't play music that I can buy from the iTunes store. I mean, why would I want to do that? Radio3 just plays old stuff with a dynamic range unsuited to tinny headphones, whilst Radio 4 is just people talking and that. As long as they can do a deal with Heart/Galaxy, that's all the music I would want to listen to.

    Alternatively they can just buy their own bit of the spectrum and start beaming Jobsian jingles to the iPhone which I ought to be buying.

  8. Anonymous Coward


    And if they allowed multitasking and it drained the battery, you'd complain about that instead.

    Grow up.

  9. TeeCee Gold badge
    Jobs Horns

    @Michael C

    ".....more interested in the FM "Broadcast" ability of this chip....."

    Yeah, I'm quite sure Apple will provide access to that functionality via an API shortly after Satan starts skiing to work in the morning, the Nazis get elected in Israel and Gordon Brown learns how to add up.

  10. Sebastian Brosig
    Jobs Horns

    purchase song?

    why doesn't someone write an app that always records the last 10 minutes of radio into a ring buffer and if you like it, lets you save it as an MP3? Oh, Apple doesn't like that? Too bad.

  11. Matt.Smart


    This is all good, but what I'd like to know is if the radio will work without an external antenna (i.e., headphones) since I usually listen to music using the internal speakers, and never carry headphones.

    Also as said above, the ability to broadcast FM is MUCH more desirable for me - I hate using a car kit for it.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    FM, fair enough, but why not DAB??

    FM Broadcast would be great, saves buying a whole host of other tat to listen in-car.

  13. Monty Cantsin
    Thumb Down

    @Sebastian Brosig

    Record off the radio? Have you ever heard a radio station play a full song from start to finish? If you like the song enough to record it, do you really want to hear the DJ's inane prattle overlayed on the last 45 seconds of it every time you listen to it? The copyright/revenue issues might be enough to stop Apple from ever offering such a feature, but the reality of FM radio would be enough to make sure no one ever actually wanted to use it.

  14. Norman Bowring

    Why oh why...

    Why doesn't someone write and app which "listens" to the music playing on your (as required - laptop/iTouch...) and then tell you what key it's being played in.

    (Great for budding harmonica players - of which ever-enlarging group I have been a member for decades!!)

  15. Andy Watt
    Thumb Up

    @ Robert Hill 01:11

    Bang on mate, couldn't have put it better myself. Just got off symbian and onto iPhone as the capabilities of the 3Gs outdo my last smartphone.

    Smooth, slick, reliable (ericsson bluetooth car kit works BETTER with the iPhone than it did with the SE Symbian phone!) and with features which actually work.

    Perhaps what people should realise here is that there are limits to what a portable device will do. Apple may have been realistic all the way along with their approach, and concentrated on the user experience, instead of the half-arsed balls-out attitude the existing mobile manufacturers have taken (in addition to their being hamstrung by network operators).

    Apple swan in with a device and dictate to the operators: good for them. Shakes it all up, maybe shows the incumbents how it should be done.

    I'm not worried about how having an FM radio on a phone though. Hell, I don't use the iPod on it, I've got a 160GB classic for that!

  16. Dale 3


    Oh that's you? Would you mind turning it down please. It sounds cr*p, and the other people on the train don't really like your music choice.

  17. Bod

    @Monty Cantsin

    "Record off the radio? Have you ever heard a radio station play a full song from start to finish?"

    Yes I have. Depends on the time of day and station. Obviously the inane prattle time of breakfast is no time to be doing it, but plenty of stations do beginning to end on occasion.

    But more importantly is the ability to record sessions (mix & live), live concerts, interviews, etc. The ability to rewind and pause.

    What's the problem? DAB does this already.

    Anyway, does the iPod/Phone have the relevant antenna for decent FM reception? May have the chip, but just using the same kit as for GSM and/or WiFi may not be all that great for FM.

    Still, welcome to 5 years ago when Nokia had FM built in as standard (and runs in the background happily just like all other apps) ;)

  18. Anonymous Coward


    "And if they allowed multitasking and it drained the battery, you'd complain about that instead.

    Grow up."

    As a windows phone user I was being pretty complimentary. I hate the usability of my current phone but love the functionality. So I assume you're an apple cock, so to answer your point directly, er, no, I'd have a phone that would let me change the battery.

    Or how about a perfectly Apple solution - it'd warn me that an app is running the battery low? And frankly, how much will a background FM tuner use? If you want to refer me more generally to any other background app, then fine, we'll manage, but I don't propose to run seti@home on the iphone. But the chance to do something while doing something else would appeal. I can think of countless ways around this problem that make it easy for "normal" people to use - so I have no doubt apple can think of a magnitude more.

    And don't tell me to grow up, you pathetic cock.

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