The time has come and gone where you needed to buy CDs to play audiobooks; now, all you need is a mobile phone app. There are plenty of them to choose from, too, not just Apple, and all f them offer an iOS app. Your biggest job? Deciding which one you want to use. And if you are an avid reader of eBooks, most apps support both so you won’t even need to switch apps when you’re done reading and just want to listen.
Before we look at the ten best audiobook apps, you do need to be aware of something – audiobooks take up more space than an eBook. Played in standard quality, every hour of an eBook requires approximately 15 MB. Download 9 or 10 books, and there goes a GB of your device’s internal memory.
Now you know that, let’s look at some of the very best audiobook apps on the market today.
Top Ten Audiobook Apps for iOS
Out of all the apps we scoured, these topped the list:
Apple provides its own book app, which should prove more than enough for iPhone and iPad owners. Recently listened-to audiobooks show up in the Reading Now section, along with books on your wish list and both audio and eBook recommendations from the store. You can shop in the app, although you will find that some audiobooks are limited to certain countries. And most books will require payment.
Audible comes from Amazon and is one of the biggest audiobook services in the world. You get a huge selection of audiobooks, including Audible-exclusives, and you get a choice on how you get your books – purchase each one individually or pay $14.95 a month and get one free; any other audiobooks are sold at a discount. If you belong to Amazon Prime, you can access Audible Channels free of charge. There are no ads, and you can listen offline and sync books between all connected devices.
Libby provides a unique way of getting audiobooks – rather than purchasing them, and you can get them from the library. Any library, one app, without having to leave home. You will need a library card from any of the participating libraries and, once you are registered, getting an audiobook takes just a couple of taps. You have the choice of streaming, saving space on your device, or downloading for offline reading. It isn’t as extensive as other apps, and, because you are borrowing, you made need to get in the queue, but it is a simple way of listening to audiobooks. Its available for download on tweak-box.com.
Google Play Books
Google Play Books doesn’t offer as large a selection of books as Audible or Amazon does, but it is a decent option. You don’t need a subscription – just buy the books you want; you do need a Google account, but you can get one for free if you don’t have one. You can also sync between all connected devices – start listening on one device and pick up where you left off on another. It also has CarPlay support, ideal for those who listen on the go.
Kobo went into the audiobook market in 2017 and worked in much the same way as other apps that offer both eBooks and audiobooks. Just chose your book in-app, pay for it if needed, and listen. It is a well-designed audio player with simple control, easy to navigate, and to change narration speed.
For those who like using Barnes & Noble, the Nook app is well worth a look. However, you do need two apps – one for eBooks and a separate one for audiobooks. You can connect easily to the Nook audiobook store where you will find more than 100,000 books, some reduced in price. You can also get a free sample of most audiobooks to try before you buy.
LibriVox Audio Books
A service run by volunteers, LibriVox offers more than 50,000 audiobooks for free, all of the classics from the public domain. You can get books in over 30 different languages – literary classics, poetry, biographies, short stories, and even history books – and there’s a decent search function to narrow things down for you. You get unlimited bookmarks, and there’s even a sleep timer for when you listen at bedtime.
Here, you can get a great choice of both paid and free audiobooks. There are more than 100,000 audiobooks on offer, over 8,000 of them free and new ones are being added weekly. You can change the speed of narration, use the sleep timer, even chat with customer services via in-app live chat. It is subscription-based – you get your first book for free and a 30-day free trial, after which it will cost $14.95 per month.
This is something a bit different. You get a 30-day free trial and then a subscription costing $8.99 per month for unlimited access to eBooks, magazines, audiobooks, and more. It is an incredibly versatile app, giving you access to whatever you want, regardless of format – one app does it all. In theory, you can listen to as many audiobooks as you want per month, but you may get a message telling you your access is limited to a specific number of books.
Undoubtedly the most popular eBook reading app of all time, Kindle doesn’t actually have an audiobook player. However, it does give you the option of adding an Audiobook companion to any eBook you purchase, at a fraction of the cost of the standard price – one book, two formats. Kindle also includes Whispersync for Voice technology so you can easily switch between reading a book and listening to it, and all content is synced across connected devices.
10 great audiobook apps, most of which offer you the choice of reading or listening in one app. Most o require you to sign up for a subscription or purchase the audiobooks you want, but they all offer great value for money. Share this with your friends and let us know if we missed any cool apps off the list.