Accessory and app combo bring HD Radio to iPhone

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If the Zune HD had a leg-up over the iPod touch in any department, it was in the area of radio playback. Unlike the iPod touch and the iPhone, the Zune HD comes with the built-in capability to tune into HD radio channels.

All you iPhone and iPod touch owners (who live in the U.S.) will be glad to know iBiquity has now released a hardware accessory for those devices that, along with the help of a companion app, allows you to access HD broadcasts of radio feeds on-the-go. Dubbed the Gigaware Navigation Controller, it incorporates an HD radio module and features controls very similar to those on the on the white plastic Apple Remote and the second-generation iPod shuffle.

For the uninitiated, HD radio refers to a recently-introduced technology that allows conventional radio channels to transmit a digital high quality stream along with their regular analog AM/FM transmissions.

Besides providing HD radio playback, the software provides manual and auto-seeking options, integration with Twitter and Facebook, and iTunes tagging, as well as features. The Navigation Controller is available exclusively at RadioShack stores across the U.S. for the price of $80; the companion application is a free download from the App Store.

[via Engadget]

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