The 8 Best Earthquake Apps of 2020

Early warning alerts and vibration meters for Android and iPhone

Technology is making it a little easier to be ready for earthquakes and to keep track of seismic activity from around the world. Here are some of the best earthquake apps for preparedness, research, and knowledge.

With earthquakes warnings, you'll only have seconds to receive a warning of shaking before the shocks hit. If you live in a seismically active zone, take safety steps at home and know what to do at work, church, and other places you regularly visit. Don't rely on these apps alone to keep you safe, simply to keep you informed.

01
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Best for Amateur Seismologists: Earthquake Alert!

Screenshots from the Earthquake Alert! App
What We Like
  • Simple to use interface.

  • Detailed information including intensity, location, time, and depth within the Earth.

  • The “Stats” tab has plenty of fun facts for seismology fans.

What We Don't Like
  • News tab is automated, not curated.

  • The map is imprecise; you may need to zoom and keep zooming to find a specific quake.

Earthquake Alert has more data than you can grind a plate against, and it's perfect for the amateur seismologist. The app collects information on all quakes above 1.0+ on the Richter scale in the U.S., and all quakes above 4.5+ on the Richter scale internationally. It also has a handy rolling list of quakes, if you want to see what's going on around the world, or near you, at any given time.

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02
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Best For Safety: Earthquake: American Red Cross

The Red Cross app for Android
What We Like
  • Detailed quake preparation information.

  • Informative, even fun, educational quizzes.

  • Deep and detailed information about helping others as well as yourself.

What We Don't Like
  • Will only offer alerts at your actual location, so if you can't track quake-prone areas you don't live in.

  • Some links in the app, such as the reporting links to the United States Geological Survey Links, are broken.

Earthquake safety is important, but you might be taken aback by how little you actually know. Earthquake by Red Cross isn't just designed for when seismic events hit, it's designed to educate with fun quizzes, help you plan ahead before an earthquake strikes, and get to safety and shelter after an event.

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03
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For Non-Quake Seismic Events: Volcanoes and Earthquakes

Volcanoes and Earthquakes
What We Like
  • Granular and detailed lists and maps.

  • Map tab includes a satellite imagery option.

  • A-Z list of recent events.

What We Don't Like
  • The interface values function over style.

  • Has to download a database to your phone directly.

Not every shaking of the earth is an earthquake. If you live in a volcanically active area, you need to know if it's a quake or an eruption, and this app has plenty of information to help you out.

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04
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Best for Science Education: Tremor Tracker

Tremor Tracker in iOS
What We Like
  • Fun interface, perfect for kids.

  • Very clickable and interactive, ideal for science education.

What We Don't Like
  • Not particularly deep beyond the neat interface.

  • No feature to jump to a particular quake.

  • Landscape view only.

Wondering if there are a lot of earthquakes near you? Or just want to see where they are in a fun way? Tremor Tracker does away with the flat map in favor of a fully interactive globe with pins that let you spin the planet and see exactly what's happening.

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05
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Best for Data Tracking: QuakeFeed

The Quake Feed app.
What We Like
  • Full of nice touches, like the tectonic plates delineated on the map screen.

  • Plenty of sorting tools and information, with each quake clickable and taking you straight to the map.

What We Don't Like
  • Intrusive advertising.

  • The “News” tab is about the app, not earthquake news.

QuakeFeed is just the quakes, always the quakes, all the time. Loaded with sorting functions and tools to put quakes in any order you want, this app will keep you informed, in detail.

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06
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For Tracking Quakes and Other Vibrations: Vibrometer

Vibrometer on iOS
What We Like
  • Surprisingly sensitive.

  • Simple, clean interface.

  • Screenshot button built-in, a handy touch.

What We Don't Like
  • “SOS” features are paid, not standard.

This app is all about the shaking; it turns your iPhone into a fairly detailed vibrometer, tracking how your phone shakes along the X, Y, and Z axis, making it useful not just for earthquakes, but anywhere you want to get a sense of something shaking.

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07
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Best for Pitching In: Earthquake Network

The Earthquake Network App
What We Like
  • Detailed maps with fault overlays you can toggle on and off.

  • Reports on tsunamis as well as earthquakes.

What We Don't Like
  • Constantly pushes "VIP Service" which prioritizes your warnings ahead of free users.

Earthquake Network works by crowdsourcing alerts. As users feel a quake, the alert races through the system, letting you know precious seconds earlier. It's also just a useful app to have to help gather data.

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08
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Best for Overseas Vacations: LastQuake

The Last Quake App
What We Like
  • Attractive, well-designed interface.

  • Informative details under each quake, including witness statements and photographs.

What We Don't Like
  • European-focused, for obvious reasons, so it's more of a backup app for Americans.

  • May need to play with the tabs a bit to find the ideal mix.

The official app of the Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Center, this app has everything you could possibly need to know about earthquakes in the Euro-Mediterranean region, not to mention worldwide. Don't leave for your European vacation without it downloaded.

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