Unlike many mobile phones, the iPhone doesn't feature a built-in FM radio, and the same goes for its smaller cousin, the . If you're a big radio fan frustrated at finding something that Apple's hero products don't do, maybe you'd be interested in the Griffin iFM. Available for around £25, the iFM turns your iPod or iPhone into a portable radio.
Fit to Transmit
The iFM is essentially a chunky little radio transmitter that sticks into the iPhone/iPod's charging slot. On the other side is a 3.5mm socket to plug in your headphones. The radio element is controlled on-screen using a free downloadable app (if you're plugging the iFM into an iPhone or iPod touch) or using the radio setting that will appear in the menu if you're using an iPod Nano ( , 4th, 3rd generation) or an .
The transmitter itself is on the slim side, so you won't feel like it's bulking out your pockets too much. Unfortunately the transmitter itself isn't too powerful -- walking around with the iFM you'll likely find the signal cuts out or weakens quite regularly. We were able to get all our favourite stations without too much trouble, but don't expect unwavering quality.
Browsing through frequencies is handled via a familiar iPod-style wheel, and two scan buttons that will jump you to the nearest strong signal. Stations can be made favourites if you want to select them quickly, although annoyingly they can't be renamed so you'll be stuck with a list of frequency numbers, while remembering which one is which is left up to you.
Another gripe is that the iPhone's volume control buttons won't alter the radio volume -- if you turn the volume up or down you'll need to adjust a slider in the app's interface. That's pretty irritating as it rules out changing the volume using the iPhone's easy-to-find volume keys from within your jeans pocket.