Podcast apps

Get the very best podcast experience with these 5 great apps

After music, another ever increasingly popular media consumed on our Android phones and tablets is the podcast. We produce a bunch of them here at Mobile Nations, and the popularity and scale of the podcast continues to grow. But to listen to them you need a good app, right?

Thankfully Android is blessed with a strong selection of podcast apps to choose from, but there are some more worth your time – and money – than others. So, head on past the break to see the top 5 best podcast apps for Android. And once you've chosen, why not give the Android Central podcast a little subscribe while you're at it!

Pocket Casts

Pocket Casts

Pocket Casts long has been a favorite, but in its current incarnation it has arguably risen to the top of the mountain. If you want style and function, cloud sync, a huge library, video support, variable speed playback oh and not forgetting Chromecast support, then look no further. The folks at Shifty Jelly have you covered with all of those.

Add to all that a widget, full controls in the notification tray, auto download and delete, a sleep timer and OPML import and export support and you're looking at one of the most full featured podcast apps available in Google Play. And there's plenty more on top of all this, too.

Pocket Casts also takes on the task of podcast discovery and pretty much succeeds. The featured, trending and top podcast sections are brimmed with a bevy of shows covering all kinds of different subject areas.

If you really are looking for the best, then give Pocket Casts at least a look. The developers also post probably the best changelogs anywhere in the Play Store!

BeyondPod

BeyondPod

BeyondPod may lack the visual flare of something like Pocket Casts, but it brings it where it matters most. A favorite of many for a long time now, BeyondPod has power, features and access to a huge library of podcasts that should please even the most obscure show hunter. And it too has Chromecast support, something fast becoming a "must have" when it comes to media delivery applications.

BeyondPod has a separate tablet application, but it is available to trial, in full free for 7 days before you need to pay up. That's a nice touch and not something seen every day. Smart Playlists will generate for you based on your listening preferences, you've a built in sleep timer, a "TiVo style commercial skip" to avoid content you're not interested in and even Feedly support if that's how you like to keep track of your feeds.

With that free trial, BeyondPod should certainly be given a look.

Stitcher Radio for Podcasts

Stitcher

Stitcher Radio boasts on-demand access to over 25,000 different shows covering a pretty broad spectrum of subject areas. Discovery is certainly one of the stronger points to Stitcher which is a little more stripped back in the features department compared to some of the competing apps.

Stitcher does however – as the name implies – let you 'stitch' together your favorite shows to create your own custom radio stations. It'll also deliver you audio breaking news alerts if you should so desire or just view them in the app on the home screen.

Not quite as powerful as some other podcast apps, but its simpler, more radio-esque focus isn't without merit.

Doggcatcher

Doggcatcher

Doggcatcher is another long time favorite, indeed it once claimed the title of Android Central's Editors Choice for podcast app of the year – back in 2011 if you were wondering. The alternative choices weren't quite as strong as they are today, but Doggcatcher is still a strong choice.

What it lacks in the user interface department it makes up for everywhere else. We'd like to see a little extra special polish added to the visuals but the way it handles podcasts with its auto download and delete, variable speed playback and feed categorization makes it worth checking out. And it has Chromecast support which we love to see.

Doggcatcher also comes with a full, 7-day free trial too, so you get a good chance to put it through its paces before opening your wallet. Give it a try.

TuneIn Radio

TuneIn Radio

Strictly speaking, TuneIn Radio is more than just podcasts. Much more, but it does podcasts, too, and it does them pretty darn well. It also recently got a major update and came back looking really, really hot.

So aside from the vast collection of internet radio stations supported, TuneIn also has its own podcast platform. It's a pretty no-frills approach, discover, subscribe, manage and listen, but it's such a pleasure to use it's absolutely worth your time. That and it gives you access to a wider selection of online media than just podcasts, too.

Get it in free, ad-supported fashion to see what you think.

Your picks

As ever, there's bound to be at least a few of you out there that prefer something not mentioned here, and that's absolutely fantastic! Drop us a line in the comments below to give us the what, the why and the how much of your own favorite podcast apps for Android!

 

Reader comments

The five best podcast apps for Android

107 Comments

I agree with number one. I have used Pocket Casts on my first Android device a Droid 2, then I used it when I went over to iOS and now I am using it on my Moto X. It is a truly great podcasts app.

Does it work with assist on the X? For example, can I say "OK Google Now, play the Android central podcast?" like I can do for music on Google play music?

Posted via Android Central App

It might work if you checked the option in the settings to "allow apps to see episodes"? I can't test it, but I suspect it would be able to play it through Play Music with that option checked. The section says that it makes episodes visible to Google Music and Sonos.

Agreed. I love Pocket Cast. And Richard is right about Shift Jelly's change logs. I emailed them once *just* to tell them that reading their change log made my day.

Here's the most recent one:

The Pocket Casts live keynote just finished and all the leaked rumours were true!
- The discovery section now has a laser powered Trending podcasts chart, to help find new awesome podcasts*
- Lots of design tweaks using DesignerBrain technology(TM). Including improved images and better download notifications**
- Many bug fixes. So many. Really.
* Yes, real frickin' lasers. PEW PEW PEW.
** A real designer was used but he was only mildly injured in the process.

And, on that note, does anyone know if there's a way to view the change logs for previous app versions in the Play Store?

Because, yes, I would totally go back and read all their old ones, just for the laugh.

Yeah, me too. I haven't tried Pocketcasts, but all the other ones including some not listed here I have tried and keep coming back to Doggcatcher. I just wish they would get the cloud sync working for all and not just closed beta testers.

Yes, I tries a few different Podcast Player's many moons ago, but I've been very satisfied with DoggCatcher when it was first brought to my attention by a great Podcast called Android Central. I think it was Jerry that mentioned it & I've been using since then.

I use that too for both Juan Epstein and The Combat Jack Show.. But it's kinda buggy sometimes..

Posted via Android Central App on The Nexus 5

Been using BeyondPod since the OG Droid days. It has feedly integration as well, if you're obsessed with RSS like me. It also has multi device sync which works great.

I was a BeyondPod user for quite a while, and really liked it. But, when PocketCasts came out with their newer version, I made the switch and really felt like BeyondPod was left in the dust.
BUT, BeyondPod has a new (public) beta that I've been trying for a week or so. (http://www.beyondpod.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?11-BeyondPod-4-x-Evoluti...), and it's really nice! Performance is good, and the new UI is very interesting and not a clone of PocketCasts at all.
I think I'm going to end up going back and forth with BeyondPod and PocketCasts like I used to, since they're BOTH gonna be top-notch again. :)

I use BeyondPod on my Android devices and my BlackBerry PlayBook as well as my Q10. Love it on all. Serves me well.

Posted via AC App from my S4 mini WITH an LED CrackLight ;-)

I'm currently trying out Podcast Addict right now...Not too bad. Beyond Pod I've used time and time before. Didn't know that TuneIn had podcast support....may give that a try.

I've been using Pocket Casts since it was the Free App of the Day on Amazon. Then I heard how Amazon screwed them over and I went to the Play Store and bought it. I have tried the others but kept going back to it.

I got Pocket Casts as the FAOTD and stopped using it when they pulled it from Amazon and stopped supporting it. I saw their Amazon sob story as a way to get free publicity. I switched to Beyond Pod and have used it since.

Which the developers agree to when they agree to have their app featured as the FAOTD. Whether they were right or not, they agreed to Amazon's terms and then complained about it afterwards to get free publicity for their app. That's my take on it at least.

Thanks for reminding me it was a free app of the day. I searched for it on Amazon but it's not on there any more. I found it in my purchased apps list though. I'm going to try it out and, if I like it, buy it on Google Play.

The version on Amazon is pretty old, since they have stopped supporting it in the Amazon app store after all their difficulties with the "Free App of the Day" ordeal a few years ago.

http://blog.shiftyjelly.com/2011/08/02/amazon-app-store-rotten-to-the-core/

It really highlighted how badly Amazon screws over developers with their Free App of the Day program. I used to grab the apps pretty religiously, but now I feel like an a$$ for doing it, so I've stopped. It's worth the read, IMO.

Podcast Addict is really cool. And they were very honest when KitKat broke the SD Card access, helping the user on hopw to correctly set the new SD Card folder where Podcast Addict could write.

I also use Podcast Addict. Great app and the developer seems to be always adding features and tweaking the UI.

I initially used BeyondPod but after the Pocketcasts UI update I bought it from the Play Store after getting as the free AOTD on Amazon. I've gone Pocketcasts and haven't looked back. Okay, I lie, I check out BeyondPod occasionally but find it hasn't really changed since I stopped using it. Pocketcasts has great integrated variable speed and fresher looking UI. Excellent.

You should check out my post above, which has a link to the BeyondPod (open) beta for their new version. I love PocketCasts, too, but am intrigued by the UI of the new BP, which is really pretty cool.
Worth a look if you used to use BP, IMHO.

How can you not mention Podcast adduct. It's free and has pretty much all the features of a paid app like variable speed playback

Posted via Android Central App using galaxy s4

I used Doggcatcher for years, but switched up to Pocket Casts sometime last year. Love that it'll sync between my phone and tablet, and it has a beautiful UI.
Posted via Android Central App

I did the same thing. Nothing wrong I can put my finger on for Doggcatcher but PocketCasts is more fun to use. And they do an awesome job with updating the app.

As someone with multiple Android devices the list starts and stops at Pocket Casts. The perfect, seamless sync between devices is alone worth the price, and by far the best feature.

I have actually used all of these. I started off with Doggcatcher back in 2010. It was the best option by far at that time. I played with Stitcher and Tune In briefly and used Beyond Pod the most until about a year ago when I switched to Pocket Casts. I found out that UI was really the most important thing for me and Beyond Pod was not a good UI experience. Inputs seemed too small and navigation unintuitive. Pocket Casts is truly enjoyable to interact with and it just simply looks good. I too enjoy Shifty Jelly's change logs. They always make me laugh.

I use Pocket Casts since it's definitely the best on Android right now. I still miss Google Listen and hope one day they'll release an updated version or integrate podcasts into Play Music. Even Apple makes a Podcast app now. I think Google killed off Listen prematurely.

I agree about Google Listen. Simple perfectly functional free.... Abandoned.

Ah well Pocketcasts is a good replacement. P

Posted via Android Central App

I agree about Google Listen. Simple perfectly functional free.... Abandoned.

Ah well Pocketcasts is a good replacement.

Posted via Android Central App

I've tried most of those and I am still looking for a dr.Podder replacement from my Pre Minus. I'm currently using CarCast which works well.

Posted via Android Central App

Long time user of Pocketcasts (and still use it on my 7 and 10 inch tablets), but I am a podcast-aholic, as well as a flashaholic, so I have literally hundreds of files. The problem is that Pocketcasts (whose I/O is second to none) gives the file names obscure hexadecimal names which disregard the ID tags. So you have absolutely no idea if you look in the file folder which file is which. Once a file disappears from the server, Pocketcasts won't be able to pick it up again, which results in orphaned files. At one point, I Pocketcasts thought I had about 250 files, when in fact the directory had over 500 --- many duplicates, many partials, that Pocketcasts simply couldn't handle. As I have repeatedly complained to the developers (who are otherwise fantastic and responsive) "it doesn't matter how good your i/o is if you can't take care of the data."

I am now a Podcatcher user and find it very friendly. The developer is also very responsive and the i/o nearly as elegant. But, most importantly, the app takes care of my files and I can identify them easily. No more orphans.

I am also on Podcatcher and echo everything hgoldner#CB said about it. The developer is very responsive and is enhancing it more quickly. Works great on both my Moto X and Nexus 7 (2nd gen)

PocketCast just doesn't have any competition. It requires a little set up to get things JUST how you like them but it is amazing! for me -
- I only want it to keep the one more recent episode of this huge video podcast
- start 30 seconds in to this other one so i don't have to listen to the intro music
- keep every episode of Protocol radio one so I can have some good beats always available
- not Auto download this podcast but I like to know what episodes are there in case I run out of others
- Run Engadget HD at 2x speed because those guys have lots of pauses

and all of those settings are remembered, cloud sync'd, and it's awesome!

Another Podcast Addict user here. Can't really say its better than any other top rated podcast app, though. Ha!

PodKicker Pro: I was a long time Google Listen user. Tried some of the ones mentioned here and they were feature overload for me. I just wanted to be able to open the app and continue with the last thing I was listening to. Also it's nice to have the ability to save your place in multiple podcasts. I've used PodKicker Pro for a few months now and love it. Simple and to the point. Auto download and delete if you want it, but you can customize it per podcast, which is also nice.

Recently switched to Beyond Pod from Pocket casts because Pocket casts was lagging alot when listening in 1.5x speed. (using a GS4). Beyond Pod has no lag at all...

Posted via Android Central App

Still using PodTrapper that hasn't been updated in 3 years because it's the only one that updates every hour on WiFi and only downloads when app is open.

Like several others, I'm using PodcastAddict. Lockscreen controls, notification drawer controls, scheduled auto-downloads, auto-deletes, and shortcut widgets that will take to the player, playlist, or home page. All of the low, low price of nothing.

I would recommend Podcast Addict; I've used beyondpod for the longest time but have moved to podcast addict and am very happy with it.

I tend to prefer simple solution and if one of my existing apps can give the podcast functionality, then great. So my choice will be tune in radio. I use it a lot to hear local radios when on the go or out of my country.

Posted via Android Central App

So can u subscribe to any iTunes podcasts with any of these?? I kinda wanna move away from Podcast Republic (formerly IPP player).

Posted via Android Central App on The Nexus 5

Pretty much all podcasts are available without using iTunes at all.
I subscribe and rate my favorites in iTunes to give the podcasters credit and increase their rank.

Why would you want to piggyback one podcast app into another podcast app?
iTunes doesn't store podcasts. It just provides a catalog of podcasts published and stored elsewhere. Pocket Casts does the same. If you are subscribed to a podcast in iTunes, just search for it in Pocket Casts.

Pocket Casts works great for me. Their support is also topnotch as they got back to me the same day I sent an email with an issue.

BeyondPod is great. My favorite feature is that they added native speed control (originally required a plug-in). I like my podcasts run at 1.25x normal speed so I can listen to more.

Is there a podcast app that will sync subscriptions and play location on the web? I want to be able to listen to podcasts at my desk, but pick up on my phone for long drives. I know stitcher can do it, but I'm not a big fan. Any others?

This is a 'holy grail" feature for me, too. I would love for PocketCasts and/or BeyondPod to create a simple Chrome Extension Player or stand-alone player for Windows which will sync across my other devices.

I've wanted this as well and the PocketCasts guys have said they might look at some sort of web interface, in the meantime I have my phone connect to my PC over bluetooth so I can just manage all my podcasts on my phone and stream them to my PC when at my desk

While Pocket Casts may look pretty, Doggcatcher has always worked for me. From sorting to playback via Bluetooth it works they way I want. I've tried other podcast players but always go back to Doggcatcher. The dev is very responsive to requests, too.

Posted via Android Central App

I'm a huge fan of Pockets Casts. If tried all the Android and most of the iOS podcast apps. Nothing comes close.

Posted via Android Central App

I've been using PocketCasts for a few years now, it's so good I've never wanted to try another (which says a lot as I swap around a lot of my other apps looking for the best one).

Posted via Android Central App

Pocket Casts takes my vote. Not mentioned here is one of my favorite features: it has a great sync feature for those of us with a mix of Android and iOS device. Their cross platform syncing is almost flawless.

They should charge me per year. I'd pay it.

Nr 1 is Pocket Casts by very far. There are some good others, but non having sync between devices like Pocket Casts has, make them altesdy B choice. To complete my top 5. 2) Dogcatcher 3) Podcast Republic 4) Podcast Addict 5 BeyondPot
Posted via Android Central App

I use Player FM. Free, no ads, Chromecast support. Only downside to me is a 20 subscription limit.

Posted via Android Central App

Podcast Addict is definitively in the top 5. It's free, but I would recommend to donate to the developer. Solid App and great support.

I use Podkicker. Funnily enough I prefer the free version to the paid one. Well at least I contributed :-)

I like Podcast Addict, when Google Listen shut down I tried it because it was free, and the free version uncrippled. I loved it so much I *happily* paid for the advert free version. The developer is continually updating it, and he has his own support forums and listens to people's suggestions - I personally have had ideas accepted and implemented.
I like the Chromecast support, and Car Mode (bigger control buttons for fat fingers on the move), all the default configurations are sensible but you can fine tune everything on a per podcast basis.

I'm giving Podcast Republic a go, but I listen to a set of podcasts that are subscrition based and I need to log in to download them. I can't see an option for this so they refuse to download. Which of these other recommendations will allow me to do this?

great stuff. how do i get my own podcast submitted to all of these podcast apps? do i need to submit my feed to each app developer?

This is an extremely dumbed down explanation (it's from WikiHow; dumb kinda comes with the territory over there....) of the various avenues you'll need to go down to get your podcast out there. Like I said, this is just simple "How-To," but it sounds like you're brand new to the podcast game, so you might find it to be a perfect introduction.