This app brings back memories of my trips to Radio Shack back in the day to look at scanners to listen to police, fire, aircraft and other emergency frequencies. SuperScanner! (US$9.99) recreates those days with a slick iPad app that gives you access to these stations. You're not stuck with just your local police and other public frequencies, but can hop all over the US and the world.
When running, the app looks just like the beloved 16-channel hardware scanners. The major difference is that you can search for any location, program frequencies in, and then listen for hours. You can program favorites, have the app switch frequencies at a set time, or touch an active frequency to hold it there. SuperScanner! can be set to give you background audio if you want to do something else, but not miss out on the action.
I spent some fun time exploring my local channels, then took a virtual trip down to New Zealand, and then over to New York and Los Angeles where the channels are very active. SuperScanner! can also "travel" the world at random looking for activity.
SuperScanner! has a great deal of power, but the user interface is not terribly intuitive should you want access to the deeper features. Help is built-in, but a trip to the developer website answered more of my questions.
I had a lot of fun with SuperScanner! It mimicked the old analog scanner hardware, but added features those old scanners could never offer.
SuperScanner! requires iOS 6.1.3 or greater, and an iPad 2 or newer. I'd love to see this app in a universal format so it could run on my iPhone, but there are many similar apps offered that will work on the smartphone. Some of the more well-reviewed apps include the 5-0 Radio Pro Police Scanner ($2.99), the free Emergency Radio app, and Police Scanner+ ($2.99). These apps aren't as feature rich as SuperScanner!, but are all excellent.