Best Ways to Listen to Audiobooks on iPhone

Posted by Mike Schumacher

Reading is a pastime which has long been celebrated. Reading is also an essential skill to learn and one of the greatest teachers in life. Reading, whether it is fiction or non-fiction, can enrich our minds and lives in a variety of ways.

In the past, numerous people used to have personal libraries in their homes. Today, the situation is different. The fast-paced nature of modern life coupled with the rise of smartphones has left reading behind. That is very unfortunate. Upcoming generations are more content with handheld devices than with a good book. What can you do in such a situation? Will reading be lost forever?

Enter, the Audiobook.

What is an audiobook?

Audiobooks are recorded versions of books read out loud. They can be unabridged or abridged. Unabridged versions are complete spoken adaptations of the text. Abridged versions take a more liberal approach. They omit some words or details for a smoother listening experience. The aim is to give a more concise and shorter experience than an unabridged version.

Audiobooks are not a recent invention. They have existed in various formats since the 1930s. The spread of different distribution channels has contributed to their recent prominence. Digital media technologies and easy access to information have made audiobooks more attractive. They can be played on your smart phone and taken along anywhere. Audiobooks are now mainly used in digital formats. This is very different from before when they came in physical formats.

Why are audiobooks used?

If you have never listened to an audiobook before, then you should give it a shot. People use them for many reasons. Audiobooks now have a very large market with steady growth. Even developing countries have boarded the wagon. This is because audiobooks present several advantages and conveniences.

1. Convenience

The feel and touch of a book can’t be replicated. With that said, however, carrying a book along with you every single day and everywhere you go is not very practical. However, this is not the case for audiobooks which can be carried easily. This is probably the most distinct advantage of audiobooks. They are very convenient.

Audiobooks only require a smart phone and you can play them whenever you have the time. They don’t take up extra space and they aren’t a hassle to carry. This is why they are a favorite for commuting professionals.

2. Multitasking

Reading a book requires your full attention. It is not an activity which can be interrupted by any other or done together with others. There is no such barrier for audiobooks.

Listening to audiobooks allows for multitasking. You can fulfill your everyday mundane tasks while listening to an audiobook. This is one reason why many people prefer them. They feel they can make productive use of their time while completing daily tasks.

3. Storytelling

How many of us fondly remember times when we were told stories by our parents and grandparents? With no media, all we had were our imaginations and regaling stories to take hold of our fantasies. There is something ancient to the art of storytelling.

Audiobooks allow you to relive those memories as narrators make the words come alive. Your mind can paint more vivid pictures when you listen to audiobooks. They work particularly well for fiction and fantasy genres.

Getting started with audiobooks on your iPhone

By now, you are probably itching to get started with your first audiobook experience. You would be in luck because several audiobook apps exist to make the process seamless and easy.

The iPhone, in particular, offers many audiobook apps that boast different features. We will show you some of the more popular ones but no matter which one you pick, you can’t go wrong with any of them.

1. Apple Books

This is Apple’s own custom audiobook app. Since it is specific software for the iOS family, it offers several distinct advantages over other apps.

First of all, it is free. More importantly, it has a very user-friendly interface. You can purchase audiobooks directly on the app itself and it will not make life hard for you. Updates are frequent and consistent which means you will seldom face problems. A major update in September 2018 updated the app entirely for easier use.

One negative of this app is that full support and library access is location restricted. This means that you might not be able to use it in every country.

2. Audible

Audible is by far the audiobook app of choice for users the world over. If listening to audiobooks is a hobby of yours, then having Audible is a must.

Audible has the largest amount of users and the biggest audiobook catalog available. It is supported by the might of the Amazon empire which explains its offerings. Audible also offers original audio shows, short-form narratives, celebrity narrated stories, and more. It also has exclusive content for the app not available elsewhere.

It has an easy to use interface and can be accessed offline too.

3. Google Play Books

If you are a dedicated Google user, then here is a neat offering for you. This is primarily meant for people who maintain integrated profiles on Google platforms.

This is a general app that reads audiobooks, eBooks, textbooks, and comic books. You can sign in once and easily sync your account with your Google profile. It has a smaller library than Audible but a bigger one than Apple Books.

The main advantage of this app is its deep integration and no need for subscription.


There are various other audiobook apps you can use for your iPhone. The ones mentioned, however, are the best and most user-friendly. They will ease you into the world of audiobooks until you can more readily pick your app of choice.

Listening to audiobooks has never been easier. Even if you don’t fancy trying them, you should give them a go at least once. Most of these apps offer free trials so take advantage and try them out.

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