You don’t have to be a crime reporter or a private eye in an old noir film to use a police scanner, nor must you splurge on a stand-alone device just to get the inside scoop. The right smartphone app will allow you to eavesdrop with ease and stay informed about whatever’s going down in your neighborhood, including arrests, emergencies, and current road conditions. We’ve rounded up some of the best police scanner apps for both platforms.
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Police Scanner comprises live audio streams that feature police scanners, fire alarms, wildfire information, maps, railroad radios, marine, aircraft, emergency, news, and amateur radio. The app keeps listeners updated with the latest news. You can filter scanners by location to find nearby local audio feeds or switch locations to discover what’s going on in other regions. Enable notifications, receive alerts, and track major events, activity, breaking news, traffic, and emergencies. The free version is ad-supported, but you can remove the ads with the Pro version for $10 per month or $30 per year.
This app lets you listen to live audio from police and fire scanners all over the world. You can select from thousands of feeds, find the current top 100 feeds, search for your favorites, listen in the background, and even locate your feed on the map. The premium version is $5, and a yearly subscription costs $40.
This highly rated free Android scanner lets you listen in on live audio from over 7,000 police radio scanners, fire scanners, and amateur radio repeaters worldwide, mostly in English-language nations. The app lets you view the top 25 most popular police scanner radio stations, save your favorites, and tune into air traffic, rail, marina, weather, and emergency radio stations.
Scanner Radio lets you browse a variety of channels worldwide, view the top 50 scanners and recently added scanners, and target your specific location. You can also find public safety, air traffic, and marine scanners with the app. You can receive notifications when major events or emergencies take place, and it supports Android Auto. The $3 pro version removes ads, includes push notifications, and offers the ability to record audio. You also have the choice to only remove ads without new features for $2. Updated versions let you add three widgets to your home screen so you can quickly jump to your favorite feed or observe breaking news in real time. To add a widget, long-press on your home screen and tap + and scroll down to Scanner Radio.
5-0 Radio Police Scanner
5-0 Radio Police Scanner is a top-rated iOS police scanner app, providing global coverage of Fire, EMS, and Police feeds. Users can even create their own custom feeds, as well as browse lists of broadcasts by country. The Feeds with Active Alerts system alerts users of noteworthy events in their newsfeeds. This allows you to consistently check your feed even while the app is still running in the background, letting you browse through your social media accounts or text messages without missing essential broadcasts. The app is free, but for $5 you can ditch the ads.
Scanner 911 offers a straightforward and intuitive design to benefit users on any device. It includes excellent, integrated sound settings and a few customized audio options you can experiment with, like an equalizer and an amplifier. This popular scanner lets you locate area scanners and view other scanners across the country. You can adjust the app to listen in the background and regulate 10-codes to maintain a continual flow of local news. The app’s user-friendly interface works well with headset controls.
While not precisely a police scanner, Citizen serves many of the same functions a classic scanner does, and much more. Use this safety app to get real-time safety alerts, live video of incidents, updates on natural disasters or protests, and know if your loved ones are near a dangerous incident. Citizen can notify you of a crime in progress, even before the police respond. You can also subscribe to 24/7 access to a trained Protect Agent to assist you whenever you feel unsafe. This person can discreetly help, silently monitor your live location and audio, alert other users, call 911, monitor heart rate through your Apple Watch, and more.