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Apple May Release FM Radio App For iPhone Soon

Apple may be on the verge of launching a new iPhone application that will make full use of the smartphone's hardware according to rumours that have leaked online.

9to5Mac, a popular Apple blog, received some information regarding the prospective unveiling of a radio app which "will be allowed to operate in the background like and will offer the same functionality as the FM radio in the new Apple iPod nano (5th Gen)".

Both the iPhone 3G and 3GS are already capable of receiving FM radio signals although this functionality is only used in conjunction with the Nike+ feature; should the rumour prove to be true, the iPhone will be on par with the camera-totting iPod Nano which also has a FM radio.

It is not clear, at this stage whether the app will be a stand alone app or if it will be built in the iPod app. Apple might have decided to counteract Microsoft's Zune HD launch with this small but important new feature which is already available on the rival Zune HD PMP.

The application is expected to offer the Live Pause feature that made its way in the Nano plus the ability to make purchase a track (or discover more about it) why listening to it through the soon-to-come tune-tagging.

Our Comments

Should we care for this new feature? Maybe. It is a smart and easy way for Apple to make sure that you can buy songs while moving around. But then, iTunes is on the cusp of becoming obsolete with new disruptive services like Spotify or Napster. Having yet another bullet point is great for the marketing guys but for the rest of us, I am not so sure.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.