Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ have received FM radio support in the US. With the latest development, users of any of the two Galaxy series flagships can now listen to FM radio. But instead of using a native app for the new experience, the users will be required to use the NextRadio service on their handsets. Interestingly, the new support is exclusive to US users. This means you still won't be able to tune in to an FM station on your Galaxy S9 model if you're in India or any other part of the globe.
The unlocked variants of the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ have received a new software update (firmware version G960U1UES2ARF4 and G965U1UES2ARF4) that brings FM radio support, reports SamMobile. Samsung promised to activate the available FM chip on the Galaxy S9 models back in March to bring the new experience. The South Korean company even announced its partnership with TagStation, the company behind the NextRadio app, to enable FM radio support on its flagship models. That move was apparently triggered after US FCC Chairman Ajit Pai pushed smartphone vendors to activate FM support on their offerings to make communication easier for users during natural disasters. However, the Galaxy maker until now didn't offer access to the FM radio on its flagships - presumably to encourage users to continue to use Web-based streaming services instead of the free-to-access radio broadcasting technology that was invented way back in 1933.
Samsung has offered NAB FM API to bring FM radio support to the unlocked Galaxy S9 models. The API is purposefully designed to enable frequency modulation (FM) technology on Android devices.
It is worth noting here that while the users in the US can now access FM radio on their Galaxy S9 models, Samsung hasn't yet provided a similar update for users in other regions. Also, it seems that the newest solution is also available for the Galaxy S9 models powered by the Snapdragon 845 SoC. This means it won't debut on the devices using Samsung's Exynos 9810 SoC.
Apart from Samsung, many other Android manufacturers don't offer FM radio support on their flagship offerings. Even Google Pixel range doesn't include FM radio support natively. Apple, which often considers as the reference among Android makers, also doesn't offer FM radio on any of its iPhone models. Nevertheless, companies such as Alcatel, LG, and Motorola lately activated FM chips on their devices to provide users with a cost-effective alternative to Internet radio.