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How to Listen to the Radio on an Android Phone

Music can be an impulsive thing, more often than not. Truly, for you to be able to listen to the proper song to match your current mood, your phone would have to sport one huge music library. Or perhaps not, especially when you can turn your Android phone into a radio.

Listening to FM radio with an Android phone

Several Android phones have the ability to pick up FM broadcast signals. Armed with the right app, you can use your phone to listen to the radio. It’s a nifty trick, but not every phone comes with the proper software.

To see whether your phone can listen to the radio, look at the App menu for an FM radio app. Look for something starting with the letters FM.

The FM radio apps magically pull radio signals from the air and put them into your ear. Kids: That’s the way Mom and Dad listened to music back when they were teenagers.

  • The FM radio apps require you to plug a headset into your phone. (If you forget, the app bugs you about it.) The phone’s radio hardware requires the headset’s wire to act as an antenna.

  • Radio apps scan the airwaves for stations, creating presets for you. Some of the smarter apps note your location and the station’s call letters and maybe even their broadcast schedules.

Streaming music from the Internet to your Android phone

Though they’re not broadcast radio stations, some sources on the Internet — Internet radio sites — play music. Your Android phone may have come with a few Internet radio apps preinstalled. If so, great. If not, check out these three:

  • TuneIn Radio

  • Pandora Radio

  • StreamFurious

The TuneIn Radio app gives you access to hundreds of Internet radio stations broadcasting around the world. They’re organized by category, so you can find just about whatever you want. Many radio stations are also broadcast radio stations, so the odds are good that you can find a local station or two.

Pandora Radio lets you select music based on your mood, and it customizes, according to your feedback, the tunes you listen to. The app works like the Internet site, in case you’re familiar with it. The nifty thing about Pandora is that the more you listen, the better the app becomes at finding music you like.

StreamFurious streams music from various radio stations on the Internet. Though not as customizable as Pandora, StreamFurious uses less bandwidth, so you can enjoy your music without having to risk running up digital cellular surcharges.

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