Whether you're doing laundry, driving home from work, or breaking a sweat at the gym, podcasts are great for filling up your time with the latest news, comedy shows, in-depth storytelling, and so much more. There are more than a few podcast apps on Android, but these are easily our favorites.
- The best: Pocket Casts
- Ultimate customization: DoggCatcher Podcast Player
- Music and podcasts in one: Spotify
- Google all the things: Google Podcasts
- Super powerful: Podcast Addict
- Hidden gem: Castbox
- Sit back and laugh: Laughable
- Podcasts and audiobooks: Podbean App & Player
- Exclusive podcasts and shows: Stitcher Podcast Player
Paying for apps is something a lot of people just won't do, but if you want the best podcast experience possible, it's worth shelling out a few bucks for Pocket Casts. The app has a gorgeous new design, a dark mode, playback controls, easy content discovery, and can be used on just about anything.
In addition to providing a clean look at interacting with your favorite playlists, DoggCatcher offers quite a few customization options. There is even the ability to set up some automation for your podcast playlist and better battery management.
Spotify is one of the world's most popular music streaming apps, but did you know it's also home to all of your favorite podcasts? Finding and playing podcasts on Spotify is quite easy, and if you already use the app for your music needs, it's nice to be able to have everything in one spot.
Launched in June 2018, Google finally released its long-awaited podcast app. Google Podcasts has a nice, simple design, but the real star of the show is its integration with other Google services. You can find and play podcasts via Google Search and have full playback controls using Google Assistant.
For years and years, Podcast Addict has been one of the most popular podcast apps on the Play Store. Its UI is pretty outdated by 2019 standards, but it sacrifices good looks for power. You can use the app to manage podcasts, audiobooks, live radio streams, YouTube channels, and RSS feeds. It's free to download with a paid option to get rid of ads.
Castbox is a podcast app that seems to go unnoticed a lot, but if you haven't checked it out yet, you really should. Not only can you easily discover all of your favorite shows, but Castbox also has an integrated community hub, original content you won't find anywhere else, live radio streams, and so much more. It's free to use with an optional paid membership.
Sometimes you just need a good laugh or something to make you smile, and that's where Laughable comes in. This podcast app emphasizes finding great podcasts with comedians and other public figures. But this app is unique in that you can follow specific people and be notified when they appear on other podcasts without subscribing to a slew of random podcasts.
Podbean is an excellent pick with easy recommendations for popular channels, and you can even get started creating your own with the built-in Podcast Studio. Plus, Podbean gives you the option to check out an array of audiobooks, making this your all-in-one audio stop.
Stitcher has been around for years, and the app is one of the most popular options on the Play Store. While the app is free, you can sign up for Stitcher Premium and get access to exclusive premium podcasts and ad-free shows.
Why Pocket Casts is the best
For years now, my podcast app of choice has been Pocket Casts. With the move from a paid app to subscription-based, there was a bit of push back until the company announced that those who previously purchased were "grandfathered" into Pocket Casts Plus. For the new users, you can stick with the free version, or sign up for Pocket Casts Plus for either $0.99 per month or $9.99 per year.
The overall polish of Pocket Casts is fantastic. It looks great, is easy to navigate, and runs like butter. There are also a lot of playback controls, including playback speed controls, a volume booster, and the ability to cut out any moments of silence in an episode.
Add that together with a beautiful dark theme, fun playback stats, auto-downloads, and more, and it's easy to see why this is our top pick.
Google Podcasts is a fantastic free option
It's kind of amazing it took so long for Google Podcasts to come to market, but in many regards, the long wait was well worth it.
Google Podcasts is 100% free to use, and if you're deep in Google's ecosystem, it's the option that makes the most sense. Finding new podcasts is as easy as doing a Google Search, and if you start a podcast on the app, you can easily pick up where you left off on your Assistant-powered speaker with just a voice command.
Outside of those Google integrations, Google Podcasts gets big points elsewhere thanks to a sleek and simple design, easy-to-use UI, and great podcast discovery.
Spotify's a good choice for casual listeners
With that said, not everyone needs a dedicated podcast app. If you're already using Spotify for your music needs, you might as well listen to podcasts on it, too.
You won't find nearly as many features on it was you would with Pocket Casts or some of the other options on this list, but the fact that you can just listen to podcasts along with your tunes in one single location on an app you probably already have is damn convenient.