The best audiobook app for iPhone and Android smart phones is leagues above the rest. There are many audiobook apps out there but I wanted to separate the wheat from the chaff and give you a detailed review of the best audiobook app available. Best of all it’s 100% free to download from the iPhone app store or Google Play.
Audiobooks are an exploding market as high speed internet is beginning to reach everyone, and portable devices and smart phones are now the norm. Everywhere we go we carry a portable music device in our pocket, and this gives us incredible access to audiobooks on the go.
An audiobook app should contain at a minimum the following features
- Easy to use
- Access to your audiobooks where ever you are
- Large library of titles available
- Not locked to a single device
The audible audiobook app is available for iPhone and Android and it is the best audiobook app on the market.
We all know how well Amazon.com does with books. Audible.com is owned and run by Amazon and it is where the store and sell all of their audiobooks. They have over 100,000 titles and the largest range in the industry.
In this review I wanted to highlight the pros and cons of the Audible audiobook app and then at the end I will outline some other audiobook apps for your smart phone if you still aren’t convinced.
Pros Of The Best AudioBook App For iPhones and Android Smart Phones
Huge list of audiobook titles to choose from
Audible has the large range of titles available for sale. As I said before it is the Amazon equivalent of audio books, thus it would be near impossible for someone to compete against Amazon (Barnes and who?).
Almost any book you want to read is on here in audio format, and best sellers seem to launch in audio format on the same day they launch in standard book and ebook format.
Marketplace is on Audible.com and is not tied to the iPhone or Android Platform
I love love love this about this app. This is a major reason I rate Audible as the best audiobook app over Apple’s iTunes, which also does audiobooks. If I decide that I am sick and tired of Apple and I want to move over the the android platform then I can simple download the audible audiobook app and my files will all be available for download.
This is one of the major reason I have not gone with Apple’s iBook platform or purchased audiobooks through iTunes. It is Apple’s way of locking you in to them, because if you go to Android then you have to leave your entire library behind.
Many audiobooks are now enabled with WhisperSync
Whispersync is one of the newest editions to Amazon and it is a pretty cool tool. If you have the eBook and the audiobook then Amazon will actually sync the two.
So if you read up to page 35 on the train and then hop in your car the audiobook will play from the exact spot you were up to on your kindle reader. Then if you listen to another chapter in your car then when you hop on your kindle reader it will take you up to where you left of.
So basically you can continue the book through in multiple formats and not lose your place. Pretty snazzy if you ask me. I don’t know of any other audiobook app that can do that?
Can listen to audiobooks in 2x and 3x speeds
Being able to listen to a book in 2x or 3x speed has been a god send for me. I can get through an 8 hour book in 4 hours. Recently I was listening to “The Lucifer Effect” which is 24 hours long. On 3x speed I was able to get through it in just 8 hours.
An amazing feature for those who want to consume a lot of content. It takes a while to get used to but once you go 2x or 3x speed with your audiobook going back to 1x will feel like everyone is talking in slow mo.
Discounts on all titles as a member
If you are an audible member then you get a 30% discount on anything you want to buy. This makes all titles extremely affordable.
I have bought over 30 books and I am yet to pay more than $15 for any single title, and many have been less than $5. Great value.
Can download your audiobooks as many times as you want
Got limited space on your iPhone or Android smart phone? That’s fine. With the Audible audiobook app you can download an audiobook when you want to listen to it and then delete it when you have finished to free up space.
Your library is saved to their network and you can download that audiobook again when you want to listen to it at no extra charge. It is like having your entire audiobook library in the cloud. Another reason Audible rates as the best audiobook app for me (and thousands of others).
Compatible on multiple devices
Not only is this audiobook app compatible on multiple devices but you can actually run it on multiple devices at once.
For example, I recently read “The Lean Start Up” which is an amazing book. I wanted me wife to read it to, so I just logged in to my account on her iPhone and download the audiobook onto her iPhone. Now she can access it and so can I, both at the same time.
Cons of The Audible Audiobook App
Even though I believe Audible is the best audiobook app on the market (by far) it is not without its flaws. However, I find it very hard to fault. It just seems to do what I want it to do and there are only a few cons that I have found with the service. The cons are more about the service as a whole and not the app itself.
Not as many audiobooks as real books (such as on Amazon.com)
Amazon.com has millions of books, Audible.com doesn’t have nearly as many titles so you can’t niche down as much as you do on Amazon.
For example a new book that everyone in the start up sphere is talking about is “The $100 Start Up”. I can buy it on Amazon but I can’t get it on Audible. Very frustrating. Hopefully it will come out soon.
Monthly subscription required
Audible works on a monthly subscription model. So you pay $14.95/month and you get 1 credit which can be used for 1 audiobook.
I try to plan my credits and use them for books that I want to listen to that are actually worth more than $14.95 so the subscription model works in my favor. But if you didn’t want to buy many books and you only wanted to buy a couple per year then this would be a downer.
You can cancel your subscription and buy books without the membership, but you lose that members discount.
Abridged versions can be painful
Some books are only available in abridged version, which is basically an overview of the book.
I hate abridged versions and avoid them at all costs. I like to get deep into a book and listen to the whole thing, not just a portion of it.
Cannot download audiobooks unless connected to wifi
I complain about this but it has probably saved me a $1,000 phone bill. If something is over 50mb then you have to be connected to a Wifi network to download the audiobook. I believe this is a parameter Apple have set on the iPhone device so it isn’t exactly audible’s fault.
I am unsure if this restriction exists on the audiobook android app.
Buying the audiobook does not entitle you to the regular book, thus extra cost
The final downfall is that an audiobook purchase is seen as separate to a regular book or ebook purchase. Thus if you want to both read the book and listen to it then it is going to cost you a little bit more.
Cannot purchase audiobooks through the app
Audible is the best audiobook app for playing your audiobooks, but it is not the best audiobook app for buying your tracks. You cannot buy titles through the app itself but you need to go onto their website (through your browser) and purchase the titles there. You then need to sync the app and you will be able to download the audiobook you just purchased.
However, even with iTunes you cannot buy audiobooks directly through your music app. You need to launch the iTunes app and use that to purchase your tracks.
Get The Audible AudioBook App Now
If I have convinced you that Audible is the best audiobook app for you then you can download it for free today from both the iPhone App Store and the Android Google Play store.
NOTE: You must have an audible account to use these apps. You cannot buy titles directly through the app.
Start you collection with a free audio book. Click this link to get 1 FREE audiobook.
Other AudioBook Apps
Even though I did not rate the follow as the best audiobook app available they are still a viable option, especially if you find that Audible doesn’t suit all your needs or if you are looking for cheaper or free content.
iTunes was the closest contender for the best audiobook app even though I didn’t cover it in great detail in this article. It is easy to use, easy to purchase audiobooks (almost all iPhone users have an iTunes account set up) and the program works seemlessly to download your audiobooks onto your phone.
For freebies the new stand alone Podcast app is also a great way to obtain and consume high quality audio content. I use iTunes for all my podcast listening but Audible for all my audiobooks.
Audiobooks Premium ($0.99)
Provided by Librivox. Contains free public domain books which are narrated by volunteers of the community.
Audiobook Shelf (free)
Made by the same company as Audiobooks Premium this is the lite version
Children’s Audiobooks: Volume 1 (2.99)
Contains 10 audiobooks for children. Simple to use but limited in what audiobooks you can have on there. I am pretty sure these titles are available through Audible also.
I hope that give you a good overview/review of what I believe is the best audiobook app on the market today. I wish you all the best in your listening adventures.