FM Radio was included in previous versions of Windows Phone like 7 and 7.5, but for unknown reasons it was not available in the first releases of Windows Phone 8. But… good news, in the latest update to Windows Phone 8 - GDDR2 - Microsoft has reintroduced the FM Radio feature. If your smartphone has a radio chip, you can use it to listen to radio, without using your data plan. Here's how it works:
How to open the FM Radio in Windows Phone 8
The first thing you have to do in order for the FM Radio app to work is to plug in the headphones into your smartphone. They act as an antenna and the app needs them in order to work correctly.
The next step is to launch the FM Radio app. Unfortunately it is a bit hidden.
Open the Music+Videos app, either by tapping its tile on the Start screen, or its entry in the Apps list.
Flick to the collection screen and look for radio link. Tap on it.
If you didn't connect your headphones, you will receive a message that informs that you need to plug them in.
Now that you know how to start the FM radio app, let's show you how to use it.
How to Search for Radio Stations in the FM Radio App
Once you opened the app, you can search for FM stations. To do an automatic search for the next or previous available station, flick to the left or to the right. If you would rather tune it manually, instead of flicking, swipe to the top.
Depending on the radio station you are listening to, you may see some additional information, such as its name.
Another way of tuning to the next or previous station is to press the Volume buttons on your phone. Volume Up will switch to the next available radio station, while Volume Down will switch to the previous.
How to Pause & Resume a Radio Station
When listening to a radio station, on the bottom of the screen you will see a pause button. Tap on it to pause the station.
When pausing a station, the button changes to a play button. When you want to resume the station, tap on it.
How to Add a Radio Station to Your Favorites
If you would like quick access to a radio station in the future, you can add it to your favorites. To do this, tap the add favorite button found on the top left corner.
How to Open Favorite Radio Stations
On the bottom left corner of the FM radio app you will find a star shaped button.
If you tap on it, you will get access to a new screen, listing your favorite radio stations. Next, tap one of your favorite stations and the FM radio app will automatically tune to it.
How to Remove a Radio Station From Your Favorites
To remove a radio station from your favorites, first select it as shown earlier. Then, tap the remove favorite button shown on the top left corner of the screen.
How to Pin a Radio Station to the Start Screen
Like almost everything in Windows Phone 8, you can also pin a radio station to the Start screen. In the FM radio app, access the radio station you want to pin.
Then, tap and hold on the middle of the screen. A contextual menu will be shown.
Tap the first option: pin to start. Your phone will take you to the Start screen, where you can see the newly pinned radio station.
How to Listen to Radio Using the Phone's Speaker
You must use the headset for the FM radio app to work correctly. But, you can switch the sound to your phone's speaker.
In order to do this, tap and hold the station's frequency (the big number displayed in the center of the screen). A contextual menu is shown. Select switch to speaker.
To switch back to using the headphones, open the same menu. The switch to speaker entry has been replaced by switch to headset. Tap on this option.
How to Change the Radio Region in Windows Phone 8
When you press and hold on a radio station, the contextual menu includes an entry named settings. Tap on it.
A new screen opens, where you can select your region. There are only three options available: North America, World and Japan. Tap the the most appropriate region so that your phone can tune correctly to the radio frequencies used in your area.
The FM radio is a feature many people use, and its absence from Windows Phone 8 was a big minus so far. Luckily, Microsoft decided to listen to its users and bring back this useful feature. Now listening to radio no longer means using your data plan. If you are looking for other tutorials about Windows Phone 8, don't hesitate to read the articles recommended below.