HD Radio Coming to iPhones?
I'm old enough to remember when people thought AM-FM Walkmans were cool. Now Apple seems poised to take a step back to the future with a new patent that suggests HD radio tuners will be coming to future iPhone and iPod models. AppleInsider
has details of the patent,
and also notes an earlier report about Apple being in talks with iBiquity, the makers of the HD radio iPhone accessory.
The patent application, “Digital Radio Tagging Using an RF Tuner Accessory,” describes how IOS devices could scan through HD stations and organize them based on the quality of the broadcast and/or specific kinds of content. "Enhanced metadata" would allow users to select through available stations for the kind of music or other content available at that time and - since this is Apple - tag tracks for later purchase over iTunes, similar to how songs that play on the iPod nano's FM radio can be tagged. Ford's in-dash HD radio
also has an iTunes-tagging capability.
iBiquity came out with an HD radio receiver for the iPhone last year
, complete with an app to control it. The $80 uses the headphone wires as an antenna for the tuner, and purports to offer coverage where streaming services like Pandora cannot go. At that time, the Wall Street Journal
claimed that Apple and iBiquity were in talks to incorporate their receiver in iPhones and iPods.