Apple to Unlock iPhone's/Touch's FM Radio

9to5Mac is reporting that Apple is currently working on an in-house radio application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. This application will supposedly run in the background and offer the same features as the FM radio seen on the new iPod Nano. There's even mention that the app will feature Live Pause functionality.

Both the iPhone 3GS and the iPod 3G have an FM transmitter and receiver installed, however currently there are no apps to activate the latent hardware. The same holds true with the iPhone and iPod Touch 2G, however these models have FM radio receivers only. Apple previously performed the same stunt with the dormant Bluetooth hardware, activating the tech long after the devices hit the market.

9to5Mac added that Apple is currently attempting to integrate the Mobile iTunes Store purchase functionality into the radio app using Song Tagging, thus delaying its release. The site provides an example on how the tagging will work: users will hear a song on the radio and can then push a button to pull up and purchase the tune in the iTunes Store. Of course, this will only work if the station supports Song Tagging.

As seen here, the iPod Touch 2G features Broadcom's BCM4325 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chip. The company's overview clearly reveals that the chip has a built-in FM receiver in addition to the integrated IEEE 802.11a/b/g and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR.

Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more. 

  • konenavi
    Cool so they can charge iPod users another $9.95. Go Apple!
  • burnley14
    Is this app going to cost anything? If so, that is ridiculous to charge for the ability to use hardware you already paid for.
  • konenavi
    burnley14Is this app going to cost anything? If so, that is ridiculous to charge for the ability to use hardware you already paid for.I've got a Touch, they did it with Bluetooth no reason not to do it again.
  • BallistaMan
    I've also got a touch. I held off on OS 3 because I simply didn't need most of the functions it offered, and the few I cared about (copy/paste mainly) I wasn't about to shell out more money for (my freaking 1-bit Palm had that). I finally bought it a couple days ago because Apple had lowered the price to $4.95. I still feel ripped off, but at least they only got half as much of my money. Unless Apple has something else *really* compelling, I intend to wait for the price cut again.
  • duckmanx88
    O_o why did it take so long for this?
  • Honis
    duckmanx88O_o why did it take so long for this?Its Apple. They like making things and figuring out how it works later. They get away with it because of the blind fanboys who buy every product with an half eaten apple on it.

    They are unlocking it as a hit against the Zune HD. They will charge you for the update. The fanboys will rave the radio interface is innovative. Some will even say it reinvents the radio (the best thing for radio since the transistor). A Tom's writer will say that last one.
  • maigo
    wtf? really, you spend like 2 grand on a phone/contract then you gotta pay extra to use the hardware. I bet iMacs can do bluray, it'll just cost another $500
  • ravewulf
    Zune has already had that for ages, plus now they have HD radio!

    I don't have one myself (although I'd like a Zune HD when I can afford it), but this was one of the major selling points made for the Zunes.
  • will_chellam
    built in transmitter is pretty cool though - if you need it for your car etc i bet the 'cost' of the upgrade is less than one of those tunecast devices - and a hell of a lot neater....

    On a side note - I was bored on a night shift last night looking at the apple (uk) ad with an iphone and "16 More ways to get things done" I added up the cost to be over £100 for the apps they listed!
  • r3t4rd
    Here's the anaology for you less technically inclined people:

    You were born with a penis/vagina....Steve Jobs charging you for using it regardless of what *use* that might be.