The carrier has apparently decided that all future Android phones will need to offer FM radio support if they want to run on its network. That means you’ll be able to listen to live radio on the go without using up all your data, and AT&T says the technology will also allow some interesting new features. The first phones released under these new guidelines could launch as soon as later this year.
“Today marks a new beginning in mobile technology with the agreement by a global iconic brand, AT&T, to light up the FM receiver chips in all of its future Android smartphones,” said the National Association of Broadcasters.
Many smartphones already ship with a radio chip in them, but they are often turned off intentionally before they hit the market. Unlocked phones are more likely to leave the option on, though a few carrier branded phones sport the feature here and there. AT&T wants phone-makers to switch on FM radio support in current devices already wherever possible. Hopefully we’ll see the update roll out soon, and we’re looking forward to tuning into the local radio on our smartphones in the near future.