Why Haven’t You Installed That Yet? #1: The best podcast apps
In which we share with you the best podcast apps on both Android and iOS.
Podcasts are sticking around—certainly now more than before. The ability to consume media whilst doing something else is the gold mine podcasters have been studiously mining for the past decade. I personally like listening to podcasts on my daily commute and while doing chores at home. Some of my favorites should be up on my blog if you need recommendations.
Naturally, plenty of podcast-listening apps will prop up. And right now, there are plenty of options for you to choose from. But rather than subject you to the torture that is finding which one is the best, we’ve waded both the App Store and the Google Play Store and compiled the best podcast apps on this list.
For iPhone users:
Apple Podcasts is the default podcast-playing app for iOS. Your iPhone most likely came with the app when you first bought it, and lest you deleted it for some reason, here’s a reason for you to bring it back.
If you feel you’ve been stung by the podcast-listening bug, this is a good app to start with. First off, it’s free and runs on the iTunes podcast library, which ensures almost every podcast that exists will be available for you to play and download. Also, the UI is pretty spot-on, adapting the bold new design language that Apple has implemented throughout its core iOS apps.
For Android users:
Android users will be pleased to know that Google is working on a native podcast-listening app. But in the meantime, Podcast Go is giving us the best experience so far. Developed by Sanity Audio apps, Podcast Go is an elegant-looking podcast player for Android users, featuring a pretty vast library of shows from all sorts of categories. It’s a free app, but the UI feels like something you would get out of a premium one. Finally, it implements the Material Design language quite well into its functions.
For storage space-savers:
A lot of people still don’t know that Spotify has a great number of podcasts hosted on its network. The staples—Radiotopia, Gimlet, New York Times, and many others—are already thriving in the Spotify library, and the company is adding more and more every single day. If you don’t want to install any more apps and want to hold onto precious MBs of your storage space, Spotify is a perfectly good solution. Just note that because Spotify is mainly for music, you’re losing some of the core functions that other options on this list provides (e.g. Smart Speed playback, Volume Boosting, etc). Note also that Spotify offers a premium subscription service that lifts the ads off its playback.
For iPhone cross-platformers:
If you’re like me and you find yourself jumping from one platform to another—from your iPhone to your Macbook or your iPhone to your Windows Laptop—then Overcast is a sensible install. It offers a host of robust features ideal for podcast-listening, including the ability to smartly speed up the playback of a podcast, as well as boosting its volume. Best of all? It’s free on all platforms, with the option to upgrade to a premium plan (USD 9.99/year) which allows you to upload audio files into your Overcast account.
For Android cross-platformers:
Pocket Casts is my podcast player of choice. I talk about this app a lot. As of this writing, I’m running on an iPhone and a Windows 10 laptop, and flipping back and forth is never so easy. The playback is in supreme quality, and account syncing is almost immediate. Often, when I find myself using an Android phone to review, I can easily hook myself up there, because Pocket Casts is in every platform you can imagine. That value, however, isn’t free. And understandably so. Currently, the Pocket Casts app for both Android and iOS will set you back a one-time fee of USD 4.99.
I’d like to conclude this list with what I think is the best podcast app regardless of which platform you’re listing your podcasts on—and that’s Pocket Casts. There’s so much to love on this app, from the features (volume boost, smartly sped-up playback, skipping silences, etc.) to the gorgeous-looking UI. If you’re listening to podcasts a lot, this app is the one to beat.