Pocket Casts is the best podcast app for Android. Not only has it been around for a long time, constantly adding great features that fit naturally into the Android ecosystem, but it has great discovery tools to find the best new shows.

Best overall

Pocket Casts

$3.99

Pocket Casts

See on Google Play

Pocket Casts does what any good podcast player should do: it loads quickly, has great discovery tools, has effects for cutting down on silences, and it looks great doing it. Shifty Jelly, the company behind Pocket Casts, has put a lot of love into making the app as full-featured as possible without alienating beginners just looking for an easy-to-use podcast app.

With tablet support, Chromecast output, and easy ways to store content on microSD cards, Pocket Casts is our pick for the best podcast app on Android.

Bottom-line: Pocket Casts offers not only an amazing discovery and listening experience, but its synchronization system lets you listen to your favorite shows on iOS, Windows and the web.

One more thing: Themes! Pocket Casts has an amazing dark mode that looks great on AMOLED displays, or when you're browsing at night.

Why Pocket Casts is the best

Easy to use, powerful for pros.

Pocket Casts is one of the first apps I download on a new Android device, and one of my most-used apps. Even as other popular music streaming apps like Google Play Music and Spotify have added podcast support, I go back to Pocket Casts for its useful tools, intuitive features and navigation, and ability to create on-the-fly playlists using the Up Next feature.

Chris Welch of The Verge had this to say about Pocket Casts for Android:

Above just being a vehicle for your podcasts, the standout aspect of Pocket Casts is definitely its design. It's a tremendous showcase for Google's Material Design, with fluid animations and color schemes that shift colors based on a podcast's artwork. Your subscriptions are arranged in a tiled screen with big, beautiful artwork for every show, and Pocket Casts has a seemingly endless array of preferences, playlist filters, and auto-download settings, so you can tailor it fully to your liking.

One of the main virtues of Pocket Casts is its synchronization system: after purchasing the app for $3.99, you can create a free account and have it sync with the iOS, Windows and web versions. Not only is the podcast artwork beautifully shown in high-resolution, but it's easy to subscribe and add certain episodes to playlists once you have subscribed to a particular show.

Small things, like a dedicated In Progress category, details the episodes you've only half-finished, while an amazing discovery network based on category, location, or podcast network makes it super simple to find the best content on the internet.

Finally, Pocket Casts can cut down the length of a show by removing silences or speeding up the playback up to three times, which is incredible useful if, like me, you subscribe to way too many shows and need to get through them as soon as possible every week.

Best for beginners

Google Play Music

Free

Google Play Music

See on Google Play

Play Music is relatively new to the podcast scene (weird, right?), but Google's streaming music service integrated podcasts with aplomb — especially since it fits right into the existing user interface you're already accustomed to. Some of Play Music's podcast prowess is derived from the app's simplicity: a great discovery portal, and lots of choice, without overburdening the user with features. Plus, there's great Chromecast and Android Auto support built in because, well, it's Google!

Bottom-line: For the simplest experience to get started with, Google Play Music is the ideal place to listen to your podcasts. And because it's already installed on your phone — there's very little setup required!

One more thing: Play Music syncs your podcast subscriptions across devices and platforms, so if you subscribe to a bunch of great shows on your Android phone, those shows will be there when you log in through the web.

Best for bingers

Stitcher

Free

Stitcher

See on Google Play

It seems that Stitcher has been around forever, and on Android that is just about true. But the app has gone through some major revisions over the years, and has emerged as one of the best places to queue up a bunch of audio content for those long trips or head-down work sessions.

Even as podcasts have grown mainstream, and many apps, like Pocket Casts, have emerged to take on that burgeoning market, Stitcher still fulfils its promise of making it super easy to "stitch" a whole bunch of episodes together. The interface may not be as slick as Pocket Casts or GPM, but there's no better app for discovering new and weird shows and sitting back to listen to them.

Bottom-line: If you're looking to discover new and interesting shows and podcasts, Stitcher is still unrivalled. It has a huge database of content and, after subscribing to a few shows, Stitcher knows what you like, and will recommend some great stuff you've likely never heard.

One more thing: Stitcher isn't just about podcasts: it works with notable brands like NPR, CNN, Fox News, ESPN, and BBC to push breaking news alerts throughout the day, just like a live radio program.

Best overall

Pocket Casts

$3.99

Pocket Casts

See on Google Play

Pocket Casts for Android is, simply, worth the price. It's got one of the best interfaces for playing and discovering new shows, and Shifty Jelly, the developer, is always adding new and useful features to its new versions. Plus, those change logs are hilarious! While it does cost some money up front, you'll be happy to chose to bring your subscriptions over to Pocket Casts.

Bottom-line: Pocket Casts offers not only an amazing discovery and listening experience, but its synchronization system lets you listen to your favorite shows on iOS, Windows and the web.

One more thing: Shifty Jelly, developers of Pocket Casts, are very receptive to feedback, and are always looking to make the app as good as it can be. That's another reason to purchase Pocket Casts: it promises to receive the best and most relevant features as soon as they come out.