BBScanner: Listen to Police & Fire Scanners On The Go

By Bla1ze on 9 Jul 2009 09:58 am EDT
BBScanner: Listen to Police & Fire Scanners on your BlackBerry

Anyone ever have an uncle or grandfather that used to sit around listening to police and ambulance scanners back in the day? I know I did. My grandfather used to love that scanner. Now a days the scanner listening folks have moved onward and upward to the mobile world and now you can tune into them all on your BlackBerry using a cool new application called BBScanner.

BBScanner supports scanner stations in Australia, Canada, Germany and of course the United States. Being up front, the app's user interface leaves a lot of room for improvement but it works as described for anyone who might be interested in such listening. It's free (for now?) and is currently supported on all devices running OS version 4.3 and greater (but the Storm may need compatability mode set). Be sure to adjust your APN as well using the guide provided as it uses your carriers data.

Topics: News & Rumors

Reader comments

BBScanner: Listen to Police & Fire Scanners On The Go


This program is great! My Brother-In-Law is an EMT, so now i can listen to him work...or NOT work...whatever the case might be! =-)

I've been trying to listen to these for a long time on several web sites, etc... and all are a pain to use. this was easy to use and navigate. simple, I love it!

This app is exactly what I have been looking for!! The UI could look a little better, but who cares! It does the job great and that is all that matters to me!

is this a free app or is it one with hidden cost , i have it on my berry now but noticed it uses quite a few bytes just wondering , i have unlimited data plan to .

I was on that link and i see other carriers APN settings but doesnt show Sprints. The only thing it said about Sprint is: "SPRINT - Unknown; Might Work (in red)" along with some other info.

I got it working on my sprint 8330. I didn't have to do anything with the APN. I just downloaded it and opened it, it worked fine!

Yes. i dled it too and didnt need to make any APN adjustments.. THIS APP ROCKS!...Now i just need some action in my area. Another thing that i like about this is that we can scan all over the US and international as well!


The next critical event (Active shoot, natural disaster)
We will be able to listen in.

How the world has changed!!
If this was available during 9-11 or Columbine. What about Hurricanes or large Tornadoes.

Sweet deal

anyone else see this as being a great tool for criminals to use so that they know just when to get out of the house before that big raid that is coming ???


His comment didn't mention anything about price. He was concerned criminals would use this program to monitor police activity in order to evade them.

My point was people have been using scanners to monitor police activity for years.

Sheesh. Some people think the comment area on blogs are some sort of contest to see who can be the biggest smart-a$$.

Every squad car in my county and surrounding counties have computers in them now. They would use those to dispatch for that. Once the computers were put into the cars, the scanners got a lot less busy.

They have scramblers to mix up other then standard communication, as well as private channels to handle intense situations.

I asked the developer why some counties in NY are missing, I noticed Ulster and Dutchess county are missing. His response is the feed comes from Once someone hooks them up with feeds from there (or anyplace else that is missing) the directory will be automatically updated.

Better than the iPhone apps that do the same thing. This one is nice and loud, the iPhone apps are barely able to be heard.

get it, you'll be happy if you want to listen to radio traffic for police, fire / ems. Good to listen during storms and such too as you'll get first hand info about what's happening.

Be aware, it is illegal to possess a scanning device while mobile whether on foot or via car. The way scanning device is defined in law, it would include this software.

So be careful where you use this. It you are seated at a picnic table or on the ground, it's fine. But if you stand up and walk down the street, it then becomes illegal. Unless, of course, you are licensed to possess such equipment.

I use one all the time for the newspapers I freelance for.
It is my understanding that if you can have the scanner in your car, but it is illegal to have one while committing a crime....then you can get charged for having the scanner for use to avoid me cause I am just curious.

I suppose I should have mentioned that the law varies by state. In all states, possession of an amateur radio license does allow you to possess a scanner while mobile.

The 5 states where it illegal to be mobile with a scanner is:
New York

I cannot say for the other states, but Indiana does include an exception for
(8) a person:
(A) who is regularly engaged in newsgathering activities;

There are another 8 states or so where it's only illegal in the furtherance of a crime. The remainder of the states, there is currently no known legislation.

i need my county in florida.. and where i work.. palm beach and st lucie county.

i can't believe they're not there...

Hmm....I'm a police dispatcher. Seeing as we don't keep a scanner in the radio room, I might actually now be able to listen to myself!!! LOLOLOL

Very cool application, works great the only problem is it only has 1 town thats about 30 miles away from me in my county. If there was a larger database it would be great. Still a cool application.

Great app and seems to be working fine... except i find the volume quite low even at 100% ..(toronto feed). Other than that seems to be okay.

FYI - Those on Rogers will have to input APN: in your settings.

I'm listening to my police right now...this is crazy!!! I honestly cant believe this is it? If not, umm...

Anybody with US Cellular get this to work? I don't have TCP/IP settings in my options and get an error message "Received corrupted directory information" when trying to start the scanner.

I use a regular scanner because I am a freelance photographer for the paper, so when there is a fire, or an MVA, I can get there and grab a photo......
Is this a battery hog?

Works well only nothing in my counties got to get this set up for my department. We all don't have radios so this will help a lot when en-route to the scene! THANKS!

i think i did something wrong i downloaded it and and my computer gave me an error about the file format or it was corrupt something like that. any help would be helpful.

just go to the

download, install, run, let it load then it should work fine

its working for me and i have vzw8330!

But as long as you keep the charger plugged in, its all good. This may go down in history as the greatest BB app EVER!!!

I havent turned it off since I dled it this morning.


Unfortunately, no DC feeds. But, I'm on the Howard County Maryland feed and they're running an ID check on a 16 year old. It sounds like he has priors in theft! Too much fun for me to having in the office right now :)

Works like a charm. No need for me to use compatability mode on my Storm either. Just works really well. Using it to listen in on NYPD Special Operations & Traffic.

man this is so kool also have a storm and didnt have to do anything it just loaded up wow man beating on a woman in alley in chicago

but I scan multiple counties at once, etc and this can only do one county and one system at a time.
for instance, it does county emt separate from police, as it should, but won't scan between the two....I guess banking is not an option for frequencies....

Nice little app here...a few counties near where I live in South GA arent on there but there are some up in the Atlanta area. I like it. Not too bad....

i was wondering since it uses so many bytes you know the thing at the bottom that says 18446320 bytes recieved will that cause my carrier to charge me if i go over 5mb or usage ? hmm because verizon loves to charge people for things any help would be appric

It is pulling/ using data to get the transmissions.....
If you are on the 5mb plan go to the unlimited plan if you want to use this a lot...

Great program....I'm listening to it now on speaker phone. I have a pearl flip and it works great. Hats off to the programmers, GREAT program guys :-)

Wow... don't you just love to listen in on a scanner?!

Great application, but I'm hoping the developers will add the counties that are currently left out from MD (and I'm sure other states).

And of course, as luck would have it, my county is left out as well!!

OK.... either my mic is broken, or for whatever reason, these guys don't want to answer me!

I've been shouting into my phone "10-4" and "9-5" and all kinds of "roger this" and "copy that".

Why do you think they are snubbing me?

I guess they must not need a CrackBerry cop on the beat!


Ha!!! Lovin that one!!!

They are doing a forced entry in Denver, and someone ran into the Discount tire.

No productivity for me today...Hooked!!!

haha this is amazing. I put it on my phone then I downloaded it to our store demo phone... I can hear in stereo!

haha... ahhh redneck town I live in. White male in a blue tank top riding a bicycle shouting profanities!

i don't have any feeds near me now.. but would love to be able to. it's so much fun.. i'm hooked. now if i could get it for my county, i would be really happy..

oh you can suggest feeds on the website by the way!

Just so everyone knows, this program uses the same database and URLs that grab the feeds from

Yes, this is a STREAM only. So you will only hear ONE system if the streaming scanner only has one system. You may hear two or more if it's programmed as such.

Also, if you want more in-depth information on the streams, go to

I've been going to that website for months, and this is even better for my BlackBerry. Satisfied +1!

This really is a great app. Unfortunately my county isn't listed, either. Now to go brush up on "code"..... ;)

Okay folks.

Quit getting upset that they don't have your area.

The website that this program pulls from is made up of regular folks, like you and I, who have their scanner hooked up to their computer.

If there is nobody in your town or area that does that, there will be NO feed from your area.

IF you have a scanner, go to and talk to whoever runs it about being a "feed provider".

I love this app but my county isn't even on it! Palm Beach County Florida! Let me know when it is added and I'll add the app back to my blackberry!

Easily my favorite app on my BlackBerry. Can't believe they have (as far as I've checked) every audio feed from's audio section. That is HUGE! So far this app has been great.

Awesome App! It is really fun to listen in on the happenings around the world.

It does kill the battery pretty quick and uses data, but that is expected. I just plugged it in and stream over wi-fi.

No complaints here for not having my city listed. I'm sure it would be pretty boring anyway. Although I wouldn't mind fighting crime as a CB vigilante.

This brings back memories of my dad sitting around listening to his scanner as I was growning up. Plus it lets me listen to my home town where I grew up, small town but a lot of police and EMS activity....

I DL the app and it didnt work, like some of the others say that theres worked right away. So I went to the forums and got my APN settings for AT&T and checked my little box and it still says failed to DL directory.

I dont know what im doing wrong.
and my version is up to date.

This is something I have been seeking for many years both as a WM user and a BB user. Finally!

Great job by the folks at and

i'm getting the dns dl error as well. i changed the apn to match up to t-mobile settings w/ and w/o my id & pw. still nothing. any suggestions?

is there an ota download or am i just blind. i tried to go to but it doesnt seem to work. suggestions?? thanks!

is there an ota download or am i just blind. i tried to go to but it doesnt seem to work. suggestions?? thanks!

Go here:
At the end of the first sentence on that site is a link you click on and it should start the download. If your county is not there, it's because there's no one in your county that has a scanner who is feeding the signal into the website.

Why eventhough I am logged in I am not allowed to view page, and where can this application be found, I have searched the site without any results. A google search locates the program but states you must be logged in?

I listen to my portable scanner at home. The best part about this ap is that you can listen to any country,state, county and city you want and the reception is wonderful. A1 ap

Installed on my Blackberry Bold 9000 (white) What a great application! Many ways to setup channels and alerts. I just downloaded a new beta version it said was available and it locked up the whole phone while I was just listening to a particular channel. Hope it was a fluke or it gets fixed in the official release.