Every new government brings something different. A recent example is President Trump who brought a war between facts and fake news. He also brought Ajit Pai front and center as the head of the FCC and he thinks smartphones should have FM radios.
Actually, he just wants the FM radios already inside most smartphones to be turned on. Wait. What? My iPhone has an FM radio inside? Yes, it does. And Apple keeps it turned off by default and the only way to get the FM radio turned on is to, 1) jailbreak or hack your iPhone, 2) wait until Apple does something customers want, 3) petition CEO Tim Cook to unlock FM radio in iOS 11 (and petitions work so well; including the one to get Donald Trump to release his tax returns; and, by the way, is there an online petition app?), 4) wait until the cows come home, 5) wait for Steve Jobs’ second second coming.
Funny thing. True story, too. Not quite half of all the smartphones in the U.S. already have their FM radios turned on. Since nearly half of the smartphones in the U.S. are iPhones, that means most Android smartphones have FM radio activated. I did a quick survey of half a dozen Android-toting friends and family members (which should tell you something about my being a technology influencer) and not one of them knew there was an FM radio to be turned on.
Alright, why does Apple keep the FM radio that exists in every iPhone for many years turned off by default? And why not make it a simple toggle for the customer to decide whether or not to turn it on?
Whether we agree with them or not, Apple has reasons for everything, and there’s likely a good one, or at least a plausible on for why the iPhone’s FM radio remains dormant. I’m not inclined to agree with much that comes from a government appointee who doesn’t like net neutrality, but having the option to turn on an FM radio in the iPhone has to be better than no option at all. And right now, we have no option.
Why doesn’t Apple give us the option? I have some ideas.
Because Apple likes white. And black. And purity of design. And FM radio has static, hisses, and noise, along with drop outs and poor signals. In other words, FM radio in ancient technology and there are many other options that provide music and talk and emergency alerts that work better.
Except in the case of the MacBook Air, iPod, Mac Pro, Mac mini, and iPhone SE, Apple is all about ‘out with the old and in with the new’ so, to paraphrase the Soup Nazi, “No FM radio for you!”
Yet, for some of us, FM radio might be a pleasant upgrade to iOS. Why not give us the option, Apple?