Apple points out that newer iPhones don't even have an FM radio receiver chip; understand the controversy

The politics in the new we talked about it here on the site in February when the FCC president suggested the activation of built-in FM radio receivers on iPhones.

His claim is that many smartphones have the ability to receive FM radio broadcasts through receivers built into their LTE modems, but for some reason, operators and manufacturers prefer to keep this feature off, leaving only the option of listening to radio. via streaming (online). At the time, Ajit Father He said there are a range of benefits to activating receivers, such as saving both battery and mobile data, as well as being able to use them in emergency situations when there is no carrier / internet signal.

This week, on account of the passages from Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria (which devastated Puerto Rico and parts of Texas and Florida), the executive hit that key again, practically begging Ma to activate the FM radio function on iPhones. dropping a software update for the devices.

Does the appeal make sense? Does. Much. THE Bloomberg reported, for example, that DJ Nio Fernandez broadcasted information about the Irma drill for 19 hours straight in Spanish at the radio stations of Maxima Radio (92.5) in St. Petersburg (Florida) in order to keep people trapped in their homes and without properly updated electricity or carrier / internet signal under local conditions. That is, in this case, radio was the only form of communication available for you to stay on top of the events around you.

Apple, engaged the way (1, 2, 3), could not deny something so easy when releasing an update to help thousands / millions of people in such a tight time, is not it? But not quite

Hurricane Irma Pass in Bonita Springs, Florida | Image: Daniel Acker / BloombergHurricane Irma Pass at Bonita Springs, Florida (Image: Daniel Acker /Bloomberg)

The company made the following statement to iMore:

Apple is deeply concerned about the safety of our users, especially in times of crisis, which is why we create modern security solutions in our products. Users can dial emergency services and access medical ID card information directly from the Lock Screen, and we enable Government emergency notifications, ranging from weather warnings to AMBER alerts. Model 7 and 8 iPhones do not have FM radio chips or antennas designed to support FM signals, so FM reception cannot be enabled on these products.

That answer, by itself, already ends the idea of ​​Pai simply because they are the latest smartphones of the company. However, Rene Ritchie, editor of the iMore, also raised other important issues involving this simple release of an update to enable FM radio broadcasting on older iPhones.

Even if you could just turn on a switch and activate the feature, there is a lot to consider as: these chips may not be connected so FM radio transmission is possible; if they are, such a change would probably require an update to firmware of the wireless chipset. Given that this could indeed be done, the radio functionality would have to undergo several tests to ensure it did not interfere with cellular reception, Wi-Fi signal, Bluetooth and NFC. Yes, after all this process, we may see a feature-focused update being released for iPhones.

That's right, iPhones; because if we look at the Android scenario, the difficulties would be even greater. Something that for Apple “simple” (an update release of firmware) too complicated for manufacturers in the Android world. In short, they rely directly on partners such as Broadcom, Qualcomm, Intel, or some other company responsible for the chip itself to make this update, as well as carriers around the world to make updates available to users.

Another option would be, in a moment of desperation like this, to connect an accessory with an antenna to receive the FM signals. But even today it's complicated when we're talking about smartphones like iPhone, Pixel 2 (which will be released next week), Essential and others that no longer rely on the 3.5mm audio output (that's why these accessories would connect to each other). easily).

Which is possible, not in the new gadgets, as Apple made it very clear. But definitely not something as trivial as we imagined

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