Why so much fuss about the rumour that Apple is developing an in house app to bring FM radio to the iPhone? Sure, the fact that (assuming the rumour is true) this will be a native application that can run in the background just like the iPod app does on an iPhone is cool, but do we really need a FM radio on the iPhone? It's a valid enough question. Sure, the new iPod Nano has a radio and it adds a needed function, but the iPhone has apps. And, as any app lover will know, there are plenty of streaming radio apps already out there which bring all the radio functionality you could want, and then some.

Yes, I like the sound of integrating radio and iTunes Store so that you could get more info about a song playing and then go on to purchase it in just a click or two. But to be honest I prefer being able to stream that song through the likes of Last.FM or Spotify rather than having to buy it at all.

Yes, I like the idea of the live pause function, assuming that this carries over from the Nano into the iPhone app that is.

But I'm just not convinced that there is any real need for old technology such as FM radio on a next-generation device like the iPhone. It's almost as bizarre as having a Blu-ray player built into a top end HD TV which lets you play VHS tapes.

Maybe it's just a relatively simple thing to do, from the technology perspective, for Apple which will bring a nice but of publicity and no doubt get the media drooling over added features. The iPhone has been able to receive FM radio signals for a while, it is just not enabled as a radio application. The Nike+ fitness system uses the iPhone FM signal functionality to works its magic, for example.

So what do you think? Would you listen to FM radio on an iPhone or is it just a waste of time?

Yes, I would listen. Any sanctioned background non battery hogging application to play radio that does not consume 3G bandwidth is great for those who want to listen to radio and to the healthier use of bandwidth.

Before the iPhone, I used to listen to NPR on the radio on the way to and from work, over my old iPod with the radio adapter attached. When the iPhone came out, I switched to podcasts of the news from that morning, because I did not want to bring two devices and was unwilling to not use any other functionality on my phone for my bus commute to work. On my way home from work, I rely on streaming those NPR segments that came out in the afternoon and are larger than the 10 MB limit, because thankfully the iTunes store on the iPhone does allow for background audio streaming of podcasts.

While this portends that Apple could allow background iTunes Radio Station streaming to the iTunes store, I don't think they could get away with it vis-a-vie unfair advantage of being able to run in the background for this functionality while not allowing AOL Radio, NPR Tuner, ooTunes, Wunder Radio, etc. to do so. Given that, and given the savings in battery consumption and bandwidth hogging, I could EASILY see it being in Apple's best interest to unlock this functionality, allow a real background radio, and leave our CPU for other things.

P.S. As I finished writing this, I realized that background audio buffering (for 15 minute rewind) and possible audio waveform tagging (if Shazam type support is added as well) might be slightly CPU intensive, yet it would in no way be as much power intensive as streaming over 3g signal, and it certainly would not be as bandwidth intensive.

I sure don't need to know if there is an emergency. . .
I'll just listen to my favorite music and die.

Commentators also dissed the idea of a compass; now with augmented reality etc. I don't see any of them admitting the wisdom of the move. Apple invariably does things for a reason. When Nanos are used in gyms, e.g., the radio allows the user to listen to the in-house TV. In the iPhone it will probably be to add another layer of interactivity - a FM transmitter is in there as well so before scoffing you might think about by what could be made of that.

The ability to not only receive FM but to transmit (what is the limit I wonder the common 'music' spectrum only or other publicly liscensed bands)aside I am more excited about the 802.11n (the 5GHz 'n') function of the Broadcom chip.

If it was a DAB radio I'd be more interested. Most FM radios built into MP3 players are, frankly, pretty awful to listen to in my experience.

they are probably not adding Fm radio till now because it will make their huge storing space useless. i have 80gb ipod for a year and still unable to fill it half way mark.

But if they add a record option it will be cool.

YES- Finally an FM radio! It's needed because most if not all of the iphone apps for streaming radio are only in the US, and then subject to the carrier's coverage. And of course all FM stations are not available via the streaming sources. And FM radio will work irrespective of the carrier's network strength, and it SHOULD work in any country, on any iPhone- Personally, I'm thrilled that Apple is adding a radio to the phone; most other major phones have had built in radios for years.
NOW, if Apple would address another missing feature on the iPhone: a volume lock. It astounds me that there is no volume lock feature. Turn on the iPod, put the phone in your pocket, and each body movement increases or decreases the volume. Same with a phone conversation. What kind of engineering oversight is that?????? My last complaint: add a character counter to the sms screen. Or would AT&T prohibit Apple from doing that?
Certainly, AT&T benefits and doubles its income stream for every 165 character sms rather than someone knowingly stopping their sms at 160..... Again, an sms character counter is standard on every major phone since the 90's-an oversight by Apple? or another marketing mandate by ATT?

If it was a DAB radio I'd be more interested. Most FM radios built into MP3 players are, frankly, pretty awful to listen to in my experience.

DAB is shit. The quaility is awlful (especially if you are an audiophile and have a decent conventional tuner - in that case its worse than FM!) and its dying anyway, they are losing lots of money on it as no-one advertises on it as cars dont recieve it.

although i have a vast collection of mp3s, i do sometimes like to listen to random music and local news.

have you ever tried listening to streaming radio on iphone while jogging? its irritating. or while on the train? and plus, streaming uses more battery life which iphone dont have much either. i know all iphone owners i know will be thanking god when the fm app is available.

have you ever tried listening to streaming radio on iphone while jogging? its irritating. or while on the train?

Thats why you get Spotify premium as it lets you create offline playlists you can listen to if you lose connectivity.

have you ever tried listening to streaming radio on iphone while jogging? its irritating. or while on the train?

Thats why you get Spotify premium as it lets you create offline playlists you can listen to if you lose connectivity.