Everyone is using these apps right now to monitor police activity

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Apps to listen to police are suddenly very popular
Protests in the U.S. appear to have lead to a spike in downloads of apps that listen in on police.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Protests across the United States led to a spike in interest in iPhone applications that let users listen to police radios. Several of these now rank very high on App Store top charts.

Demonstrations are going on in cities across the U.S. following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Several Apple Stores have been caught up in the protests.

Most popular apps to monitor police radios

5-0 Radio Pro Police Scanner currently sits at number 2 on the list of most popular paid applications on the iPhone App store. And it’s in sixth place on the list of free apps. It promises to let users “listen in on police, firefighter, ambulance and airport radio to get the latest news, medical and hospital emergencies.“

The creator of the app says demand has been unprecedented. “This weekend was the largest spike overall in 5-0 Radio listeners in the 10+ year history of this app,” he told Vice.

Almost as popular is Citizen: Connect and Stay Safe. It’s in fifth place on the list of free iPhone apps. The app offers real-time safety alerts.

Police Scanner Radio & Fire is at number 8 on Apple’s list of top free iPhone applications. It promises to let users listen to live police and fire department radio broadcasts.

To demonstrate how popular these have become, each of them is getting more downloads than the Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat apps.