5 best audiobook apps so you can listen to your books on the go – Mashable

It’s easy to feel like the pandemic stole time away and messed with life plans, so Stolen Time looks at how to do things more efficiently. Whether it’s tech hacks, podcasts or apps you need, or just saving two minutes, we’re helping ourselves feel more in control. We need this.
There’s something a little bit magical about audiobooks. Hit play on a title, close your eyes, and this digital format can take you on a journey anywhere around the world, impart vast sums of knowledge, make you laugh out loud, and can cause you to well up with emotion. And thanks to a variety of easy-to-use apps, you can listen to audiobooks wherever you have your smartphone and a pair of headphones. Whether you want to listen to an audiobook on your commute, in the gym, while doing mundane household tasks, or simply lying in bed at night, we have an app that will help you do so. 
Audible can be credited with popularizing digital audiobooks. The platform transformed the marketplace, from cassette tapes and DVDs to simple downloads that could sit on your MP3 player or smartphone. Today, Audible, now owned by Amazon, is the United States’ largest audiobook producer and retailer.
The Audible app, available for both iOS and Android, is as full-featured as you’d expect from such a pioneer in the marketplace. The app offers a handy widget that makes it quick and easy to get back into your last listen with simple access from the home screen. There’s also the ability to listen offline by downloading, rather than streaming, titles. When you’re signed in with your Amazon account you can enjoy cross-device listening with “Whispersync.” 
While the Audible app is a free download, you need a membership plan to listen to content. An Audible Plus membership costs $7.95 a month(opens in a new tab) and gets you access to podcasts, some meditation programs, and a selection of free titles. You can then choose to purchase additional content. 
For a monthly cost of $14.95(opens in a new tab) you can enjoy Audible Premium Plus membership which gets you into the bonus material in the Audible Plus catalog, and one title a month from a selection of best sellers and new releases. Currently, Amazon Prime members get any two titles free with an Audible Premium Plus trial.
Audible is available for download on the Apple App Store(opens in a new tab) and the Google Play Store(opens in a new tab).
Audiobooks.com is not as well known as Audible but it’s a comprehensive audiobook platform that offers a nicely designed website, and decent iOS and Android apps. Audiobooks.com has been going since 2012, is based in Canada, and is run by “a bunch of book and tech nerds,” according to its website.
It’s the same price as an Audible Premium Plus membership — $14.95 — but for that monthly fee you get not one, but two audiobooks: one from Audiobooks.com’s entire library of over 300,000 titles, and a second is from their “VIP” library, which changes each month.
An Audiobooks.com membership also gets you access to exclusively curated audio news, audio magazines, audio summaries, and sleep and meditation content in the apps. It’s also a really strong player in the podcast marketplace, offering its members unlimited access to over 100+ million podcast episodes.
You can browse through the thousands of book titles available, and search for, and listen to, podcasts instantly. Audiobooks.com’s patent-pending syncing technology means you can start a book on your smartphone, carry on reading it on your laptop, and then read it at home on a tablet. We particularly like the app’s customizable sleep timer for bedtime reading.
Audiobooks.com is available for download on the Apple App Store(opens in a new tab) and the Google Play Store(opens in a new tab).
NOOK was developed by Barnes & Noble as an Android-based e-reader platform, launched in late 2009. Barnes & Noble still produces NOOK devices, but the brand has branched out to offer software and content.
If you download the Nook app,  you can instantly explore over 75,000 free eBooks and more than 10,000 free audiobooks. For premium content, you’ll have to sign up for the paid “B&N Audiobooks” service. This is a monthly subscription that costs $14.99 and gets you one monthly audiobook credit.
Once you’ve downloaded the audiobook of your choice, it will sync to your NOOK app and you can start listening via the in-app player straight away. If you do have a standalone NOOK device, the app and your e-reader will stay synced while you listen. The app is CarPlay-compatible, offers bookmarking abilities, the option to set up sleep timers, and can change the speed of the narration. 
Barnes & Noble NOOK is available for download on the Apple App Store(opens in a new tab) and the Google Play Store(opens in a new tab).
Google Play Books for iOS(opens in a new tab) and Google Play Books & Audiobooks for Android(opens in a new tab) are free apps that require no monthly commitment. This means they are strongly recommended apps for anyone who only occasionally listens to audiobooks, just when on holiday for example, or for anyone who isn’t sure they are going to enjoy the audiobook experience and wants to try it out without signing up for a membership. 
With no monthly subscription required, you can browse the audiobooks available and choose to pay to download individual titles. For the iOS app, you need to purchase the titles on the Google Play Books webstore and they will sync to your mobile device. 
The apps are simple and make it easy to see what titles you have downloaded. The audiobooks themselves sync across all your devices, including in the car with CarPlay. Anyone who uses the Google Play Books iOS app can enjoy integration with Siri; you can use Siri Shortcuts, such as “Hey Siri, play my audiobook.” 
A feature we like within the apps is the ability to skip back or forward 30 seconds — very handy if you missed a few words because of external noise, for example. There’s also a smart sleep timer function that you can set for one hour, 30 minutes, 15 minutes, or until the end of the current chapter.
Google Play Books is available for download on the Apple App Store(opens in a new tab) and the Google Play Store(opens in a new tab).
The Kobo Books platform is another that started with hardware; the original Kobo eReader was launched back in 2010. Rakuten Kobo still makes electronic reading tablets, but the apps, available for iOS(opens in a new tab) and Android(opens in a new tab), can be used as standalone software on your existing smartphone. 
Kobo Books is currently the lowest priced of the big audiobook platforms, but despite the more affordable monthly cost, offers over six million eBooks and audiobooks. A Kobo Books membership will cost you $9.99 a month after an initial 30-day free trial. Each month, your monthly fee of $9.99 gets you one credit to use on a new audiobook, regardless of its listed price.
When you browse the Kobo Books site you can view titles by traditional categories, but Kobo Books also offers some interesting curated collections, such as “Audiobooks that will change your life”, “Audiobooks that come alive through voice”, and, “Exciting audiobooks for kids.” Once you’ve bought an audiobook via the site, it will sync to your phone.
Kobo Books’ audiobook player has a clean and uncluttered design. App features include the ability to adjust listening speed, the option to set a sleep timer, and a quick tap function to skip back or forwards ten seconds.
Kobo Books is available for download on the Apple App Store(opens in a new tab) and the Google Play Store(opens in a new tab).
More in Books

source

Leave a Comment