Many smartphones (especially Apple devices) no longer ship with FM radio receivers. Surprisingly, some advanced android phones FM radio receivers lack a dedicated radio app to access content from local stations.
Some reports suggest that manufacturers are omitting FM radio on smartphones and their flagship devices because smartphone users barely listen to radio stations. It can also be a strategy to increase the adoption and use of music streaming apps† The point is, you can listen to local and international radio stations whether your device has an FM radio receiver or not. In this tutorial we will show you how to listen to FM radio on your smartphone.
Play FM radio on iPhone or iPad
While older iPhones up to the iPhone 6s had FM radio receivers, no Apple device has a dedicated FM radio app. In this section, we will show you how to stream FM radio on your iOS smartphone through the Music app and third-party radio applications.
Use the Apple Music app
Apple integrated a “Radio” functionality into the Music app with iOS 13 and iPadOS 13. So instead of using third-party apps, you can listen to live radio broadcasts through the Music app on iOS. The best part is that you can listen to both local and international radio stations, and you don’t Apple Music Subscription† All you need is an iPhone with iOS 13 or later, the Music app, and an internet connection.
- Launch the Apple Music app and select the Radio tab in the bottom bar.
- The Radio tab lists Apple’s radio stations: Apple Music 1, Apple Music Country, and Apple Music Hits. Select a station’s cover image to play the live broadcast or select the calendar icon to view the station timetable.
Apple Music 1 is the destination for pop culture conversations, music releases, music news, artist interviews, etc. Apple Music Country is dedicated to all things country music while Apple Music hits is the go-to station for songs from the 80s, 90s and 2000s. Read this Apple Newsroom article for more information about Apple’s radio stations.
- Go to the To search to listen to non-Apple radio stations. Press Search icon in the bottom right corner and go to the Apple Music tab. Type the name of the radio station in the search bar and tap Search on the keyboard.
- Scroll through the search results and tap the station you want to play. You can also click the . to tap three dots icon next to the station and select Play†
Remark: The Music app can display songs, artists, albums, and playlists in the search results. Entries with a Transmitter TuneIn label are the radio stations.
- You can also search for radio stations by their frequency. Type the frequency of a station in the search bar and make sure you search via the Apple Music tab.
Apple will search the Internet and display radio stations with their frequency in different countries and regions. Tap a station in the search results and the Music app will instantly play a live broadcast of the station.
The Radio functionality works with Siri, so you can play a station on your iPhone with voice commands. Activate Siri with the command “Hey Siri” and ask the virtual assistant to play a station of your choice. For example, saying “Hey Siri, play The Beat FM London” will prompt the Music app to play a live broadcast of The Beat London 103.6 FM.
Play live radio with third-party apps
iHeartRadio is the most popular FM radio app with an extensive library of radio stations. You can use the app to listen to live radio broadcasts on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. The only limitation is that iHeartRadio is not available in all countries. Likewise, not all radio stations are available in all regions or countries.
You can only download the iHeartRadio from the App Store if your Apple ID country is set to a supported country: United States, Mexico, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand.
While iHeartRadio is free, you can pay a monthly subscription fee (minimum $4.99/month) to save songs from radio stations to your playlist, replay songs from live broadcasts, listen offline, and access other advanced features. functions.
For example, Radio FM supports hundreds of radio stations in 234 countries and more than 121 languages. If you have an old or outdated iPhone that doesn’t support the Radio functionality in the Music app, these apps are useful alternatives.
Unlock FM Radio in Android
Unlike iPhones and iPads, many Android smartphones come with FM radio chips. In fact, many Android devices come pre-installed with an FM radio app.
Open your device’s app launcher, search for “Radio” or “FM Radio” and open the FM Radio app. Please note that you must have wired headphones plugged into your device to listen to live radio broadcasts.
Your smartphone uses the wire in your headphones as an antenna to receive radio signals. The FM radio chip then converts the signals into listenable content via the radio app.
If your smartphone has a radio chip (check the device specs), all you need is a radio app and wired headphones to listen to live broadcasts from local radio stations. To access stations outside of your country or region, you need to download third-party radio apps such as iHeartRadio† TuneIn Radioand NextRadio†
NextRadio is about the only app that really “unlocks” your smartphone’s FM radio. However, it may not work properly on Android 10 and Android 11 devices or new flagship smartphones. Some users in the review section testify that NextRadio works, but only on old Android devices.
The app may not launch after installation on many high-end smartphones. You may also see the “NextRadio is not working on your device. Required software is missing” error.
FM radio unlocked
We recommend NextRadio for older Android devices with an FM radio chip. Connect wired headphones to your phone, launch NextRadio and play live broadcasts from local radio stations without an internet connection.
Note that NextRadio does not support digital streaming. So you cannot tune in to stations outside your region. Try other apps mentioned above if you can’t find NextRadio in the PlayStore, or if the app doesn’t work after installation.
On iPhones and iPad, the Music app has everything you need to stream FM radio. To download 3rd party radio apps only if you want to try advanced features (e.g. song replay, alarm clock, etc.) or play radio stations not available in the Music app.