Despite the study and use of radio wave technology going back decades, we’re still just scratching the surface of what’s possible with this technology.
For lovers of the Ham radio hobby, this means constantly tweaking the technology they have, to discover new opportunities.
Ham radio isn’t just an activity for many people, it’s an opportunity to be part of a bigger community with a love of something timeless. However, it can be quite a difficult space to get into – at least at first.
With so much to learn and understand, it helps to have a little extra tech on your side.
A Ham radio app could be a smartphone tool which helps you prep for your Ham exam, so you can join the amateur radio community. Some of the best Ham radio apps also offer access to various channels, and tools for decoding messages.
Let’s check out some of the top contenders.
The best Ham radio apps for exams
The first thing you’re going to need when you start exploring Ham radio, is a certification. The kind of license you need depends on where in the world you are. Most Ham enthusiasts agree the test is simple – particularly if you’re just applying for a foundational license.
However, it does help to be prepared with a little extra study.
A Ham radio app for exam practice will give you access to mock tests where you can explore your skills, and tips on what you need to know.
Here are some great options…
Available on both Android and Apple devices, this offline-enabled app helps you to study for your US radio license. The whole app was designed by volunteer examiners, and its sponsored by Icom too.
There is a small cost of around $3.99 for the app, but it’s well worth the money if you want to feel totally prepared for your upcoming test. The intelligent study mode tracks your progress as you prepare and shows you handy statistics so you can track your progress.
Ham Test Prep:
The Ham Test Prep app on iOS is a fantastic product for Ham enthusiasts who want to learn all about the kind of questions they’ll need to answer on their test. You get information as you go, as well as details on why you might fail or pass the exam.
The great thing about this app is it’s one in a series of tools produced by the Patrick J Maloney LLC company.
You can use different apps to prep yourself for things like General questions, “Extra” questions, and even Technician level information. It’s easy to level up and keep track of your progress.
HamRadioExam – Technician
If you’re keen to upgrade your exam knowledge, the HamRadioExam app provides Technician-level education and guidance. This app frequently updates to include a variety of new questions as they’re released, so you can get a good idea of what the exam is going to look like.
Aside from showing you the correct answers to a wide selection of questions, the HamRadioExam also allows the user to take various quizzes on topics which might be covered in the test.
Ham radio app options for Android and iOS
There’s more to Ham radio apps than just prepping for tests. You can also use various tools to transform your phone into a HT or check out various call signs on the go.
You’ll still need your own Ham radio to really make the most of your new hobby, but these apps can be a great bonus.
Available on both iOS and Android for free, the EchoLink app turns your smartphone into a HT, and allows you to access a network from your phone.
You use the app to connect to the EchoLink system from a cellular or Wi-Fi connection, and then you can track your Ham connections wherever you like. All you need is a password and account to get started.
There are tons of locations to browse through, and you can even send transmissions to other stations and callsigns if you choose.
Another Android Ham radio app which also works on your iPhone, the RepeaterBook app is a revolutionary solution that uses the GPS technology built into your phone to quickly collect and reference local repeaters on any mode or band.
This is a fantastic way to keep full track of repeaters as you travel around the world.
There’s no network connection required to use this service, as you’re just using GPS search, and you can choose between a range of search, selection, display, and sorting options too. RepeaterBook is also completely free to use.
QRZ Assistant on the Google store, or “Callsign Search” on iOS are actually the same app. This handy Ham radio app gives you instant access to more than 1.5 million radio call signs across the globe.
You can also tap into a variety of easy sharing options through text, and email and more.
The QRZ app is a little basic, but it makes it much easier (and more convenient) to lookup various callsigns and pieces of information. You can unlock instant compass bearing directions, and QSL information for every call sign.
Pocket RxTX Free
One of the best Ham radio apps for Android right now, this Pocket tool does come with ads, but it’s totally free to use.
Featuring regular updates to keep you ahead of the changing radio world, the transceiver remotely controls various amateur radio sources through your Android tablet or smartphone.
You can link to Ham Radio Deluxe and control a variety of Yaesu FT8x7 transceivers via USB cable or Bluetooth.
The Pocket receiver also give you access to multiple WebSDR servers worldwide. Although it’s a little challenging to figure out at first, the overall experience is excellent.
As you may guess from the name, iDx is an Apple store application designed for Amateur radio lovers. This application makes it easy to track various stations and see which country or part of the US they’re in without the need for an extra QRZ lookup.
There’s a contest calendar included in the app, so you can get involved with some of the latest community experiences. Plus, a constantly updated list of current and upcoming stations adds to the experience.
More than just a standard DX cluster app, this application is extremely easy to use for beginners, and fantastically intuitive from the first time you use it. You can even put in a call and see whether it’s been spotted elsewhere.
Other handy iOS and Android Ham radio apps
The more you explore the world of Ham radio, the more apps you’ll discover to help you dive deeper into the community.
We’ve found a collection of additional apps during our research that might help you out with your next Ham experience:
Ham Radio Reference
Available for Apple users, the Ham Radio Reference app puts some simple but essential pieces of information in your pocket when you’re working on your Ham radio.
You’ll have a simple list of all the Q Codes you need, as well as Canadian and US amateur band limits. There are country codes and band plans, as well as grid squares and location.
As you move through this app, you’ll find radiogram numbered messages, local and UTC Time, as well as unit abbreviations and metric prefixes, the list goes on.
This all-in-one mobile app from the Ham Radio QSO entry team, makes it easy to maintain your information as a mobile logger. You can quickly store your Ham radio contacts in a variety of categories, making it easier to track information like QSOs.
Through the app, you can add new contacts with their name, location, call sign, mode, and any comments you need to include.
Simple call sign entry and storage makes it easier to track the information you need. You can also list all your entries in an order that makes sense to you.
This is app is a bit of fun for HAM enthusiasts who need to learn a little more about Morse code and how to use it. The app starts with the easiest letters, and works you up to complicated ones, teaching you all the information you need to know.
There are more than 50 levels to go through, and challenge levels to help test your skills.
Available on Android, Morse Mania is a great way to make sure you’re prepared for the various kinds of messages you might get on your HAM device.
Available for free on the Google Play store, SOTA finder helps you track down SOTA sites and activity. There are a range of ways to search, using things like town, state, summit name, or summit number.
You can also access a full search history with various query examples that show you where you might want to start searching.
Automatic location features are built into the experience, and you can filter through SOTA activity options depending on your needs.