5 Of The Best Police Scanner Apps For Android Devices - SlashGear (2024)

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5 Of The Best Police Scanner Apps For Android Devices - SlashGear (1)

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ByJack Picone/

For as long as police officers and other first responders have been communicating with each other over the radio, there have been enthusiasts and other casual listeners eavesdropping on them using police scanners. Traditionally, police scanners were bulky analog devices not unlike the radios and walkie-talkies they were intercepting. These days, it's much more common to use a website or an app, streaming radio frequencies straight to your computer or phone. And since these digital police scanners don't require you to have your own antenna and you're not just limited to the physical range of police radio waves, you can listen to live feeds of emergency services from across the country.

Police scanner apps have been a boon to those who want to keep tabs on crime and police activity in their community, hear first-hand about potential emergencies before the news even has time to report it, or simply use the on-and-off chatter as relaxing white noise. With all the options available for Android users on the Google Play Store, you might not be sure which app is best for you. To help you decide, here are five of the best police scanner apps for Android devices that you can download today.

Police Scanner - Live Scanner

Boasting one of the highest user rating scores for police scanner apps on Google Play,Police Scanner – Live Scanner is a top choice. Developed by Fucidin, Police Scanner has one of the largest inventories of scanner streams, allowing you to find a station close to home or from the other side of the planet. Police Scanner is also one of the most recently updated apps available at the time of writing, and is constantly adding new streams to listen to.

The app also provides listener counts to each of its thousands of police, fire, and other stations, so you can tell if one is providing some particularly interesting information at the moment. You can also curate a list of your favorite stations to keep on hand. Police Scanner – Live Scanner is free with ads, though there is a Pro option available for $5.99. With this ad-free version, you'll also have a dark mode option, as well as the unlimited ability to record what you're listening to.

Scanner Radio - Police Scanner

Scanner Radio – Police Scanner, developed by GordonEdwards.net LLC, is another top-rated option on Google Play. There are over 7,000 live feeds to choose from, including not just police and fire scanners but NOAA weather stations, air traffic control, marine and railroad feeds, and ham radio repeaters. Scanner Radio makes it easy to track interesting events in real-time thanks to its top 50 list of stations with the most listeners. You can also receive a push notification when a station has over 2,000 live listeners or when a station physically close to your location is suddenly picking up listeners.

You can mark stations as favorites, use widgets and shortcuts directly on the Android home screen, and check recently added scanners. This is particularly useful since the app is frequently updated. If you want to use Scanner Radio – Police Scanner without ads, there's an in-app ability to upgrade to Pro. In addition to being ad-free, Scanner Radio Pro lets you customize the app with six different color themes and allows you to record the audio you're hearing.

Scanner 911

Another Android app with a high user rating is Scanner 911, developed by XYWARE. Live audio from thousands of police, fire, EMS, and aviation frequencies across the country is available. You can search stations by town or city, or you can input your location and sort scanners by distance, so you can listen to feeds right in your neighborhood.

Scanner 911 allows you to play a station in the background while using other apps, and adjust the sound with equalizer and amplifier effects to ensure you're getting the listening experience you want. Lock-screen controls allow you to use the app without opening your phone. There's also a sleep timer if you're using the gentle sounds of air traffic controllers to help you fall asleep.

The app also includes a list of "10-codes" used by first responders so you can decipher what they're saying to each other over the radio, which is useful for anyone who doesn't know what "10-four" means off-hand. Scanner 911 doesn't include a paid Pro version, so you get all these features without having to pay extra. However, you'll have to deal with ads. The app also hasn't been updated (at the time of this writing) since June 2021, so any bugs that have popped up since then have yet to be patched.

Police Scanner 5-0

5 Of The Best Police Scanner Apps For Android Devices - SlashGear (5)

Adam Doud/SlashGear

"Five-oh" is slang for "cops" (think "Hawaii 5-0") so don't let the name fool you – there's a lot more than 50 feeds available on Police Scanner 5-0. There's closer to 5,000 actually, covering the usual range of first responder frequencies like fire and police. Notably, some of these scanner feeds are international, which is useful if you want to get a sense of how different countries respond to emergency situations. Developed by Logicord LLC, Police Scanner 5-0 allows you to search nearby frequencies, save favorite channels, and play its audio in the background while using other apps. It can also listen over 3G networks if you're in a rural area with poor service.

The app is free but your scanner feeds will of course be interrupted by ads. For an ad-free experience, a Pro version is available on Google Play for $2.99. This Pro version hasn't been updated since 2018, though user reviews as recent as 2022 still sing its praises and contribute to one of the higher overall user ratings on this list.

Police Scanner Radio 2023

5 Of The Best Police Scanner Apps For Android Devices - SlashGear (6)

Brittany Roston/SlashGear

You can tell by its name that Police Scanner Radio 2023, developed by Kate D., is one of the newest police scanners added to Google Play. Police Scanner Radio 2023 claims to offer "crystal clear audio" in addition to a customizable favorites list, sleep timer, and the ability to search scanner stations by state. There's currently no Pro version of this app available, though its official page on Google Play mentions "in-app purchases." Because it's free, it should be no surprise that the app includes ads.

With2023 right there in the name, the app is more recently updated than some of the others on this list. This is a considerable advantage since a recently-updated app means you can potentially expect fewer security flaws. However, if you do come across a bug or other issue, Police Scanner Radio 2023 offers the ability to reach out to the app developer via email. Because the app is relatively new, its inventory of police scanner streams — including the thousands of police, fire, and amateur feeds you'd expect from a decent police scanner app — is also up to date, so you won't have to worry about police scanner FOMO.


5 Of The Best Police Scanner Apps For Android Devices - SlashGear (2024)
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