Podcasts are probably the most recognizable Gen-Z attribute these days. With songs mostly being a medium to freshen you up, or maybe enjoyment during leisure time, podcasts are a more enthralling source of entertainment, gaining knowledge and sometimes infotainment. You might be surprised to know that nearly three-fourths of the U.S. population is now familiar with podcasting, and at least a third of them are accustomed listeners.
While podcasts are conveniently available across various platforms, people typically use their smartphones to access podcasts. Indeed, choosing a single podcast app among countless others is a tedious task, so here we are with the 8 Best Podcast Apps for Android and iOS. Read along until the end to know more about the best podcast apps available.
Thanks to its sheer popularity, Spotify is probably the app that single-handedly revolutionized the podcast industry. Spotify not only emerged as one of the best in our article on Free Music Apps for Android, but it also deserves an equal amount of plaudit in this article too. The app is nearly flawless, exquisitely designed, and can be the go-to podcast app for most.
Spotify’s most prominent vantage is the vastness of its library. It has to be present on Spotify no matter the podcast unless it’s exclusive to some other streaming platform. Be it Spotify Originals with a committed fan base or an emerging creator who’s just started podcasting – Spotify has everything covered under its enormous canopy of podcasts.
The app looks gorgeous and has many features to fiddle with, including a car mode, a widget, and a data-saver mode to listen on the go. Sleep timer, playback speed-controls, and rewinding/seeking features are easily accessible within the app’s media player. The ads are pretty less in number while listening to podcasts, which is a plus point compared to songs, where ads have just plagued out.
Spotify’s other asset is cross-platform syncing and multi-platform support. The app is charge-free but requires you to buy the premium subscription to remove ads, which are very few, and other features specific to music and not podcasts. There’s a lite version of the app too.
Price: Free; Plans starting from $9.99 per month
2. Google Podcasts
Google Podcasts is a silent killer, mainly because it’s from Google and is entirely free of cost. It has everything one can demand from a free app, and there’s nothing much to complain about. Yes, there are a handful of shortcomings too, like the lack of features, but believe us, the free price will make you forget about the weaknesses.
Of course, like every other Google app in the present, this one follows “Material You” theming too, making it look mint and appealing. Google Podcasts isn’t particularly feature-rich but sure does pack in all the necessary ones like a sleep timer, playback control, cast controls, auto-downloadable episodes, etc. It doesn’t have a widget of its own, but everything there works dependably.
Although not as extensive as Spotify’s, Google Podcasts still has a marvelous collection of podcasts and a dutiful recommendation system. It has a website too for listening on your PC/desktop. Despite having nothing distinctive, Google Podcasts gives a feeling of pleasure. Nonetheless, if you think Spotify is too complicated or expensive, Google Podcasts can undoubtedly be an apt substitution.
PocketCasts could be the safest bet for most users, thanks to its simple yet straightforward approach. Not to mention, PocketCasts is one of the well-admired podcast apps, and it justifies the tag. Despite being the cheapest, this podcast app checkmarks almost every fundamental attribute, which explains its appearance on our list of Best Podcast Apps for Android and iOS.
The app follows a no-nonsense approach and neatly presents the Discover section, your subscriptions, and your profile. PocketCasts has a relatively extensive collection of podcasts from various genres and is entirely ad-free, which is a mention-worthy point. Although feeling vanilla, the UI is functional, and the app includes a widget too.
The feature list isn’t as long as others but is ample nonetheless. Provided you get the Plus subscription, it grants you to customize the app’s design, app icon, etc. Furthermore, it has all the requisite features like a sleep timer, playback control, volume booster, silence skipper, Chromecast, downloadable episodes, and swipe controls. It is one of the few podcast apps having an independent desktop application alongside a website. You can gain access to standalone Apple Watch playback support if you get the Plus membership.
Price: Free; Plans starting from ₹85/$1.12 per month
Castbox is like the Swiss Army Knife of podcast apps, as it has various other audio products like audiobooks, radio channels, news platforms, etc. The price might sound somewhat demanding, but wait until you know the potential it packs. Nevertheless, the free version should suffice, and the app lives up to its name and is thus on our list of Best Podcast Apps for Android and iOS.
Besides the features mentioned earlier, Castbox also includes a highly customizable Zen Mode where one can listen to soul-touching sounds like a sea breeze, silhouette in the rain, and countless others. The app allows budding podcasters to record, live stream, and publish podcasts directly from the app itself, which is a rare feature to have. Castbox is also accessible through Alexa voice assistant and a website.
The ads are in high numbers, the most notorious ones being full-screen adverts and promotional banners over thumbnails in the media player. On the bright side, one can earn coins and stars by accomplishing simple tasks like daily check-in, listening to podcasts, inviting others, etc., to redeem a one-month premium membership. On a side note, it has a sublime-looking widget, which is worth mentioning.
The app is well-designed and consists of every cardinal feature like speed control, volume boost, sleep timer, cast, apart from a few special ones like lock-screen controls, Bluetooth, and wired headphone controls, to name a few. Castbox has an in-built community feature where avid listeners share their favorites regularly. The home screen presents various genres of podcasts, ranging from philosophy, regional, fictional, etc., which depicts the goodness of Castbox’s collection of podcasts.
Price: Free; Plans starting from ₹350/$4.61 per month
Snipd has a best-in-class design with a sprinkle of expedient and godlike features. The best part is that the app is wholly costless and barely has any adverts. Although the app is relatively new and doesn’t have a massive user base yet, it is still mature enough to be present on our list of podcast apps.
You might have guessed from the app’s name that there’s something related to snipping, and you aren’t wrong. Snipd has a built-in snipping tool that allows you to clip a particular timestamp of a podcast and save it for future reference. The app, by default, displays various sections of a podcast for you to access the segment of your interest within the podcast effortlessly.
Snipd’s second advantageous feature is live-transcriptions. Albeit inconsistent and laggy sometimes, it does come in handy at times. Apart from that, Snipd has an excellent collection of podcasts, and the “discover” section exquisitely displays the best shows present in the app. It doesn’t miss out on necessary features like playback speed controls, downloading episodes, seek/rewind, etc. But, it lacks a sleep timer, widget, and website support.
PlayerFM is like a dream come true for customization nerds who want to personalize their apps. Apart from a plethora of customizable features, which we’ll get to, the app follows a modern approach in terms of design and fluidity. The free version of PlayerFM grants almost everything one can desire from a podcast app.
The app greets you with famous plays, recommendations, and various podcasts from assorted genres like health and well-being, news, storytelling, and whatnot. Downloads, playlists, and your followings have individual sections for easier access. PlayerFM has a reasonably rich library too. The adverts are in controlled numbers, and we could only discover banners over thumbnails in the media player. The app includes a widget too and has website support as well.
PlayerFM is flooded with features, so much so that writing about everything is almost attempting to boil the ocean. It includes granular controls like changing app icons, color schemes, fonts, resize thumbnails, to name a few. Indeed, it has all the standard features like playback control, volume boost, noise suppression, sleep timer, seek/rewind, downloading episodes, altering headset controls, etc. A peculiar feature enables the app to respond to shake gestures and extend the sleep timer. Do note that many features require a premium subscription to function.
Price: Free; Plans starting from ₹340/$4.48 per month
Stitcher is a podcast app with striking looks and a highly intuitive user interface, giving it a modern feel. The app, like Spotify, has exclusive podcasts that are accessible through premium membership. Not only that, premium members can enjoy early access to podcasts, ad-free listening, behind the scenes, etc.
The app lays out the interface gorgeously, with every vital category like downloads, shows, genres, featured content being reachable within a click or two’s reach. Thankfully, the advert count is minimal, even in the free membership. Indeed, the Stitcher app isn’t as feature-rich as its competitors, with the most obvious one being the lack of a dark mode.
Nonetheless, it has almost every requisite feature like a sleep timer, playback control, cast, auto-downloading of episodes, including a car mode and a quick toggle to connect to Bluetooth. Stitcher has an admirable podcast collection, and you can’t neglect the exclusive shows it has to offer. Graciously, there’s website support and a rather good-looking widget too.
Price: Free; Plans starting from $4.99 per month
8. TuneIn Radio
TuneIn Radio is a modern replacement for your television, to describe in a few phrases. Although pricey, TuneIn Radio justifies its premium membership by being more than just a regular podcast app. It provides exclusive access to live sporting events like NHL, MLB, NFL, college sports in podcast form, commercial-free listening to news networks like CNN, Fox News, CNBC, and fewer ads than the free version.
The reason it’s a TV replacement is due to the numerous categories it showcases. Be it sports, news, local radio, regional and location-specific shows, or even music, TuneIn Radio has got you covered. The app is well-designed and looks elegant. It has quite a few adverts, including thumbnail-covering ads and banners. TuneIn Radio is also available on Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
Of course, it has all the essential features like a sleep timer, playback controls, seeking/rewinding, downloadable episodes, car mode, etc. Furthermore, TuneIn Radio has an in-built alarm, and it allows you to set a buffer time which then results in an uninterrupted playback of the podcast. Surprisingly, like Stitcher, this doesn’t have a dark mode either. Finally, TuneIn Radio is accessible through its website, and the app has a widget.
Price: Free; Plans starting from ₹615/$8.07 per month
Elevate Your Listening using these Podcast apps
All apps have unique trump cards, so knowing your requirements beforehand will make it easy to select one. If you want a reliable podcast app, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or PocketCasts should be your choice. Snipd and Stitcher are virtual beauties, whereas Castbox and PlayerFM are the jack of all trades. As an all-in-one podcast app, TuneIn Radio is in a league of its own. We hope you found our article on the Best Podcast Apps for Android and iOS worthy. For suggestions or feedback, feel free to drop a comment.