A couple weeks ago, you may remember a post here on DroidDog that was titled “New to Android? Here are DroidDog’s favorite apps.” One of my top 5 apps was Scanner Radio, which I said was simple and easy to use. Apparently, I was wrong. I’ve had a couple people ask exactly what it is and how to use it… So… first off, what is Scanner Radio? Scanner Radio provides you with access to publicly hosted fire, emergency, public safety, and weather feeds. If you have ever looked into purchasing a police scanner, you’ll very quickly find that they are ridiculously expensive. I had very low expectations for a free scanner app that I found by chance, but after spending a solid month using it, I am throughly impressed.
Before I go too much further, I want to mention that the app works well on 3G, really well on wifi, and barely works on EDGE. Having said that… When you first start Scanner Radio, you can look at the top 50 feeds and any new additions, or you can browse by area/genre/source. You can also search for feeds or use Scanner Radio’s most useful option; You can load up any scanners from less than 25 miles away, and more than 25 miles away.
I chose the “scanners near me” option, and the first choice listed was my county’s public safety feed. If the scanner you are looking for isn’t readily available, it should be before too long. I originally said the app updated around twice a month… It has been more like 5 or 6 times this past month. They add more feeds with every update, along with UI tweaks and some minor bug fixes.
Once the scanner loads, you’ll see multiple audio control options (including a balance adjuster) along with how many listeners are present and where the scanner feed is being provided from. By pressing menu, you can also view police codes, view the area covered on a map, add to your favorites, set a sleep timer, or configure alerts. You can set alerts to be sent to your device of choice when a certain amount of people are listening in… so if say something big was going on, and a bunch of people were checking it out, you’d know to listen in. The only other real note-worthy feature is a handy widget that you can configure to play one of your favorite feeds when its pressed.
Sounds pretty cool right? That’s about all there is to know about Scanner Radio without installing it and listening in. If you have any more questions, or need any help (or have an app you’d like to see covered), get ahold of me on Twitter @dustinearley, and I’ll be glad to assist you. Check out a couple screen-shots below and let me know what you think.