The much awaited BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 began to rollout globally on January 28th, 2014. With it came a lot of new features, like Pinch to Zoom in the Hub, lock screen notifications, battery percentage and direct installation of APK files.
Another feature is the addition of an FM Radio for the BlackBerry Z30, Q10 and Q5. Unfortunately, the BlackBerry Z10 does not have the hardware to be able to get the FM Radio though. Great for those who want to listen to the radio on the commute or even at home, you don’t need to consume any of your data. Let’s go through using the the FM Radio BlackBerry 10.
Once you insert a pair of headphones it will search for local stations and load them up grid style. Just tap one to start playing the radio station. You do have the ability to ‘Tune to’ a specific radio station of choosing too. Or to just fine tune the station.
You can mark a station as favorite star and they will appear in the Favorites tab. In the overflow menu (three dots on the bottom right), you’ll find options for ‘Now Playing’ and ‘Scan’. When you’re in the Now Playing section, you have options to ‘Tune to’ again (for fine tuning), Previous, Pause and Next. Previous and Next will go through the list of found stations. There is also an overflow menu you again have Preview, Pause and Next but also Seek down and Seek up. There is also audio option which allows you to choose between the sound coming through the headphones or speakers. Even when using speakers the headphones still need to be plugged in as they act as the radio antenna.
I find myself the FM Radio a lot since its addition and even left it running (by accident) all night on my Z30. When I woke up, I thought my battery would have drained and much to my surprise, it was hardly dented it.
It is a bit inconvenient that you have to have a pair of headphones plugged in to use it but that’s the price to pay if you don’t want to use up data to listen to your favorite radio station. It would also be nice to show song details. Perhaps in a future update.