I do my best to keep this list of applications up-to-date and am always on the lookout for new ones. Thing is, new apps are developed every day–certainly a moving target for this editor.
This is where you can help…
Please comment on this post with your favorite radio-related iOS, Android, and Windows Phone applications. Please link to the app and/or mention what operating system you use. Of course, please tell us what you love about your choice apps.
As Hurricane Harvey dropped anchor over Southeast Texas last week, Zello became the go-to app for rescuers working to save thousands of people trapped by floodwaters.
Within days of Harvey’s arrival, the app saw a 20-fold increase in usage in Houston, according to Bill Moore, the Austin based startup’s the chief executive.
As Hurricane Irma hurtles across the Caribbean toward the coast of Florida, Zello continues to boom in popularity. The free Internet “walkie-talkie” app — which relies on cellphone data plans or WiFi and is designed to operate in places where signals are weak — became the top app on iTunes and Google Play Wednesday.
The latest influx began Tuesday and, at one point, Moore said, 120 people were registering for the app every second. In recent days, the app has also trended on Facebook and Twitter, offering another example of the pivotal role social media is playing in natural disasters.
“The heat map of where the registrations are occurring looks like the hurricane’s forecast path,” he added. “It’s very dense at the tip among the Caribbean islands and then fans out across Florida.”[…]
I find Zello quite interesting. If you think about it, this app mimics the concept of traditional PTT/two-way radio which certainly has traffic management advantages during times of emergencies. Of course, Zello has many features traditional two-way radio does not (voice history, the ability to leave messages, native GPS and mapping functionality, etc.).
Zello does rely on some sort of Internet connectivity via 4G, 3G, WiFi, GPRS and/or EDGE. During disasters, these services may not always be accessible. Of course, amateur radio, CB and other traditional radio services do not require Internet connectivity.
Zello requires no license, no radio, nor any other accessories–just a smart phone–and is free. That’s a powerful combination and, as The Washington Post reports, Zello is obviously helping with Irma relief efforts. Thanks for the tip, David!
A few months ago, long-time SWLing Post contributor, Cap Tux, designed a simple shortwave schedule application for his Android phone. Though he never intended to make the app public, he shared it with me to test on my Moto G5 Plus.
Cap has recently decided that if others in the SWLing Post community would like to Beta test his app, they’re welcome to do so. He notes:
The app was created initially to meet my own requirements as at the time I was travelling a lot for my job and other apps I tried didn’t meet the requirements e.g. Broadcast stations only, filter by Station, Freq, Time, Language and more recently ‘Target Area’ which was added to the app very recently as I was initially using the AOKI list but found that EIBI was updated more frequently and tended to be more accurate.
I do miss some of the features and simplicity of the AOKI list as programming some of the code to respond to the amount of info in the EIBI list was challenging and there is still more that can be done. There is a bug on Android v4.4 (not my bug but the frameworks bug) which I have fixed in v1.1.10 which I can send through later.
I wrote this app as I needed a phone app for my portable radios (PL-660/PL-365) so I could search for shortwave stations using any combination of Station, Frequency, Language, Time (Specific, Real-time incl. day or Any!) or Target Area. The search can even take account of the day of broadcast so if it’s a Friday and the broadcast is only a Saturday, then it won’t show it.
Shortwave List Features:
Search the list using any combination of Station, Frequency, Time, Language, Time or Target Area
Only broadcast stations are included in the list
Scrollable list of stations based on search criteria
Get Station, Frequency, Times, Language, Target, Days on-air, Transmitter location and the Broadcasters country of origin of the selected broadcast by a tap on a station
Powerful search features with a simple interface
Search for specific broadcast times with any combination of Station, Frequency or Language, Target area with future or past times being searchable, although this lists all stations irrespective of the day (as you may want to know a time for a broadcast tomorrow, or yesterday)
Search for stations in real-time with any combination of Station, Frequency, Language or Target Area, so the app only lists broadcast stations on-air now (also takes the day into account, so, for example, a station listed as only on-air on a Friday will not show if today is a Saturday)
Search for stations transmitting at any time with any combination of Station, Frequency Language or Target Area
Future features in active development:
Update shortwave list from the internet
A few examples of use:
You hear a station in an unknown language, Select ‘ON AIR’ and enter the ‘Freq’, ‘SEARCH’ and the app will list the possible stations
You hear a station in English, select ‘ON AIR’ the ‘Language ‘ set to ‘English’ and enter the ‘Freq’, ‘SEARCH’ and the app will list the possible stations on that frequency right now
Want to know when a station is transmitting at a specific time? select the specific time by selecting the UTC time, set the Hour/Minute and enter the station name in the ‘Station’ box and ‘SEARCH’
You are listening to a SDR recording from last week and trying to identify a station, enter the ‘Freq’ and the specific UTC time (or ‘Language’ if known), ‘SEARCH’ and the app will list the possible stations
Want to tune into broadcasts right now in your language? no problem, just select ‘ON-AIR’ and select your ‘Language’ and ‘SEARCH’
List all broadcasts from a specific station, just enter the ‘Station’ name and click ‘SEARCH’
List all broadcasts on right now by selecting ‘ON-AIR’ and ‘SEARCH’
Phones that have been tested and will work (You will need Android v5.0.1 or above):
Samsung Galaxy S4/S7 (I think all the S series from S4 above should be fine as all have a good screen resolution)
Samsung Galaxy J3
Google Nexus 4
Moto G5 Plus
It should be noted that due to the number of low resolution display phones out there some will not be able to operate the app correctly at present due to the current layout of the components and recommend you use a phone with a decent screen resolution around 1080×1920. I plan to address the screen res issue soon.
What I need from Beta-testers who want to file bug reports:
Shortwave List version in use:
Ease of use:
What would you change/remove/add:
Any screen issues, layout problems or difficulty using a feature:
Readers, please keep in mind that this application is not in the Google Play store because it’s in Beta. You’ll need to download the application to your phone, temporarily allow “Unknown Sources” (here’s a short tutorial), then install the app. It’s very important to only temporarily allow “Unknown Sources”–once this app is installed, please reinstate this security measure.
Please note: If you’re not comfortable downloading and installing an app that is not in the Google Play store, please simply wait for this app to hit the Google Play market possibly at some point in the future.
Click the following link to download the application file to install:
As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been browsing the Google Play store this morning in search of an Android app that would help one of our readers decode HF digital modes.
I suggested Tivar, which is essentially FLdigi for Android devices. The app was originally created by Dave (W1HKJ) and published on Google Play by Stephen Cooper. According to the description, the app does not have a dedicated developer, but based on reviews, it seems to work for many.
I assume this is the best (or only?) app for decoding broadcasts like the VOA Radiogram, DigiDX, etc?
Many thanks to Chris Smolinski, who shares the following update:
I have a new version of Morse Pad for the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch.
This update includes an improved decoder which better handles improper dot / dash / space timing by the sender (poor fist), automatic speed (WPM) algorithm, and adds AFC (Automatic Frequency Control), which auto tunes in the strongest signal present.
The Architecture of Radio is a data visualization, based on global open datasets of cell tower, Wi-Fi and satellite locations. Based on your GPS location the app shows a 360 degree visualization of signals around you. The dataset includes almost 7 million cell towers, 19 million Wi-Fi routers and hundreds of satellites. A site specific version of the app includes wired communication infrastructure embedded in the exhibition space. It’s aim is to provide a comprehensive window into the infosphere.
Thanks, Bill–you are one of several people who’ve told me about this app recently. While there’s no practical use for this app as a radio enthusiast (it’s purely a data visualization, not a measurement instrument) in an elegant way, it does make one aware of all of the radio infrastructure around us. Thanks for sharing!
“An app specifically made for the Elecraft KX3 is KX3Companion (www.kx3companion.com). There are free and paid versions on Google Play (does not work on Kindle Fire).
The same author has created KX3 KeyApp to give a virtual set of keys for KX3 users. It comes with two predefined templates (CW, and default) with KX3 macros setup for use.
Finally, he created QRSS Beacon – A fully featured QRSS (Slow CW) Beacon on Android. You can select a DIT duration from 1 to 60 seconds and choose one of the 3 supported modes: QRSS, FSK/CW and DFCW. This works on any radio, connect the audio out of your Android device to the audio in of your radio and an enable VOX.
Also, HamLog is available on iOS & Android (there’s even a MAC version).”