Why don’t smartphones use their built-in FM antenna?

A smartphone in the US with its FM radio chip activiated. (TheTechTechies/Creative Commons)


Spark with Nora Young
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Sunday May 22nd, 2016


Many of us listen to radio over the internet. And many people, especially millennials, don’t even own a radio besides the one that’s in their car – if they even have a car, that is.

But here’s something we bet you didn’t know: your smartphone probably has a built-in chip designed to pick up a radio signal.

For free.

Without using any data or wifi. So you could listen to the radio without a cellphone signal, like at a remote campsite.

Or more important, receive emergency transmissions without requiring a data plan, which might have been helpful to people trying to escape the wildfires in Fort McMurray.


Read More and Listen to the Interview HERE



  1. At one time quite a few cellphones came with the activated FM radio capability. That has largely disappeared. As for FM reception at a remote campsite … I’m not so sure about that.


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