Listening to audiobooks no longer means "books on tape" (or CD). Like MP3s, audiobooks can be downloaded to your smartphone for on-the-go access, whether you're in the car, on the train, at home, or really, almost anywhere. Students can download an app that lets them add notes to audiobooks and other recordings, while parents will be glad to know that there is an app that specializes in children's books. Happy listening!
From Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice to Bram Stoker's Dracula, this app lets you listen to more than 4,000 audiobooks from its classics section for free, so chances are you'll find something you like. You can use the "Surprise me" button to discover new books, too. There's also a selection of premium audiobooks available for purchase (from $0.99). Automatic bookmarking prevents you from losing your place, and you can activate a sleep timer if you're listening before bedtime. Conveniently, you can listen to books as soon as they start downloading. Ads run along the bottom of the screen.
Audible (Free for iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry)
Audible.com is one of the leading audiobook sites, and its accompanying app lets you browse the 100,000-plus titles available in the Audible mobile store. You can pay per book or buy a subscription ($7.50 per month and up). Regardless, you need to sign up for an Audible.com account before downloading anything. In addition to bookmarking and a sleep timer, you can also adjust the narration speed. If you're eager to tell you friends what you've been listening to, social sharing via Facebook or Twitter is enabled directly through the app.
Remarkable - Notes for audiobooks and podcasts ($3.99 for iPhone)
This app lets you take text or voice notes as you listen to your audiobooks, podcasts and other recordings, making it a great companion to another dedicated audiobook app. Whether you're a student or a book reviewer, you'll save time as you can work and learn on-the-go. Notes are conveniently organized by audio file, date and time, and you can re-edit them whenever you wish. You can share your notes via email or through Evernote. It's a perfect way to stay on top of your required reading.
iLibrary+audio ($0.99 for iPhone)
iLibrary+audio doesn't have as many titles as other apps in this list (just over 230), but it offers something extra. The app synchronizes text with audio so that you can either read along while listening to a tale, or switch between audio and text as you wish. You can also change the text color and font size. To save on memory space, you can download books chapter by chapter. And if you have children, you'll appreciate the "Bedtime controller" function, which slowly lowers the volume to help lull kids to sleep. Book downloads are free.
Audiobooks for your kids ($0.99 for iPhone)
This app provides exactly what its name promises: Audiobooks for children. From The Jungle Book to The Velveteen Rabbit and more, this app contains books that are in the public domain and thus free to download. You can search by title, author, child's age and genre directly from the home screen. Automatic bookmarks will keep your place, so you can continue the story right where you left off.