LG has reached an agreement to provide LG smartphone owners with access to the NextRadio app for Android. As a result, the agreement will see all new LG smartphones having their FM chips activated and ready for use, in addition to "a number of models" coming with a preloaded version of the NextRadio app. The announcement does not detail which models will be the first to see the new NextRadio app included. Although with the upcoming release of the LG V30 expected at the end of this month, it stands to reason that the LG V30 would be one of the first LG phones to adopt the NextRadio app as a pre-installed service, if not the first. Especially considering LG's V-range is one which has traditionally placed a heightened focus on its audiophile features.
In either case, the premise behind this move is to offer LG smartphone owners the ability to tune in to local radio stations for free. In addition to other audio-focused curated content provided by NextRadio. According to the announcement, by directly connecting to the FM chip, this will provide LG phone owners with a more battery-friendly radio listening experience. One which will apparently consume "3 times less battery and 20 times less data" when compared to consumption through traditional streaming radio apps.
On top of the announcement suggesting that all LG smartphones will come with their FM chips enabled going forward, it seem as though the benefits of that activation will be limited in some respects. Most notably, based on region. As the announcement does make it clear that the first countries and regions that will be able to make use of this feature will be the United States, Canada, and Latin American countries – (clarification not provided on whether this applies to all Latin American countries or just some). With the announcement going on to state that support for more countries will follow in due course. It also seems as though carriers will be part of the activation process, with the suggestion being use of the feature could be restricted (or need to be also activated) through certain carriers. For those who do not own an LG phone, the NextRadio app is available to download from the Google Play Store for free.