All android headunits include an FM radio.
Android Headunits and their radio options
There are several options to consider when looking to the android radio features of the headunits.
FM is included with every headunit, but only some are RDS complaint. If you need the Radio Data System (RDS) or have become accustomed to it, then ensure this option is available. If you don’t need RDS or you are even not the slightest bit interested in the android FM radio feature then just overlook all mentions of Radio.
The FM android radio chip in the headunit is interfaced with the app. All the radio controls are via the touch screen and this is how the app changes radio stations. You are quite limited with the choice of FM radio app. Although Android is very customisable, the FM radio is a special part of the android headunit and not controlled by standard android functions. This means you do not have a huge number of apps to choose from should the stock FM app not be to your liking.
There is a post that features an alternative FM app that has limited compatibility all dependent on the hardware inside the android headunit. Check out the Android FM app post if you want to see what an alternative FM app could look like.
FM radio antenna
The FM radio of an android headunit uses the same FM aerial and usually the same aerial connector as you already have fitted. This is usually one of the easiest features to connect up. There is no mistaking the FM aerial connector in the car.
Other forms of Radio for Android
Android can connect to USB devices and this opens up a lot of opportunity for expanding the features. DAB digital radio for android is just one of those features. A dedicated USB DAB adaptor with its special high frequency aerial can expand the radio capabilities of the android headunits in just a few steps.
DAB, being on a USB stick means that it is fully controlled by android. This means there is the opportunity for apps to interface with the DAB adaptors and they do. A popular choice for DAB app is DAB-Z – Player for USB tuners. Its a free app from the play store and well worth looking at if you don’t like or don’t have an app for your DAB USB adaptor.
There is a lot more to an android headunit than just the radio, but if radio and particularly RDS is important to you then ensure RDS is part of the android radio package before you purchase. While it is possible to add a DAB (digital radio) adaptor to android, the FM chip can’t be replaced or upgraded and the app originally installed is the one you are quite possibly going to be stuck with.