US Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus Get FM Radio Support via Latest Update
FM radio was all the rage back in the day but now, with the widespread availability of streaming services, it has a niche audience. Make no mistake, a lot of people still listen to it, but most manufacturers deem it unnecessary and often don’t include it in their devices. People in remote areas that lack a stable data connection often rely on FM for their music needs. However, a person who has a Galaxy S9+ and S9+ will very likely have access to high-speed internet, so the FM radio feels a bit unnecessary. Today, the carrier-unlocked variants of the 2018 Samsung flagships received FM radio functionality via an OTA update.
The unlocked Galaxy S9 and S9+ variants were initially supposed to have FM radio functionality right out of the box, but Samsung apparently ‘forgot’ to add the requisite APIs for it. Carrier-locked variants will have no such luck, though, despite being listed as supported devices by NextRadio. There are ways of getting FM Radio to work on the carrier-locked variants, but it involves flashing a new firmware and frankly isn’t worth the trouble.
FM Radio APIs rolled out with the June security patch
FM Radio is the least of the concerns of unlocked Galaxy S9 and S9+ owners, though, who have had to wait three months for a security update. This week the company did finally push out the ARF4 update to unlocked Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ customers, though, and that has finally fixed the promised support of the FM radio along with some much-needed bugfixes and optimizations.
If you’re running the latest firmware on an unlocked Galaxy S9 or S9+ and want to use FM radio, you’ll have to do it via the NextRadio app. You’ll also need to plug in your headphones, which will serve as an antenna. Time and again, unlocked Samsung flagships in the US have drawn the short end of the stick, and we hope the practice ends soon with subsequent updates and features.