How many podcasts have you already subscribed to? It doesn’t matter if you have 10, 50 or maybe even if you’re absolutely new to podcasting, you will need a great podcast player for your Android device to manage all of them, and to make your listening experience as seamless as possible. After all, the best app is one that removes as many barriers between your ears and the podcaster’s voice. In this post I will tell you about three apps, both free and paid. So, without further ado, let’s jump right in.
Pocket Casts for Android (winner) – $3.99
Pocket Casts is my go to app for all things podcasts. Its slick and intuitive Material Design makes sure to remove all obstacles when it comes to your listening experience. Since this is a paid podcast app, you won’t see any ads at all.
If you’re new to podcasts, you will find the Discover section of the app very useful. Here you can browse featured, trending, top, podcast networks and choose from a list of 16 categories.
The features I love most about this app are:
- Volume boost, if the podcaster’s voice isn’t loud enough or if you simply need a little extra boost for your headphones
- Control playback speed – I listen to all podcasts at 1.1x speed. You won’t notice the difference, but it will save you 10% of your precious time. Especially useful for informational/educational podcasts
- Auto-download on Wi-Fi – save your mobile data mark podcasts to be downloaded when you connect to a Wi-Fi network
- Manage files – select how many of the latest episodes of a podcast you want to keep on your device to save storage space
- Sync podcasts across devices – amazing for those who switch between multiple Android OR iOS devices (works across both platforms)
- Sleep timer
- Export & Import your podcast subscriptions from and to Pocket Casts (OPML) – if you’re switching from podcast app that allows exporting podcasts, you can simply import all of them to Pocket Casts
To quote the developer – “It. Just. Works.”
There is only one minor problem I have with this app. It’s not a deal breaker, but sometimes you just want to have a look at the episode titles and show notes to see if a podcast is worth subscribing to. Unfortunately, Pocket Casts offers no way to see the list of episodes or download them without subscribing to the podcast.
If you don’t want to spend money on a podcast app, read on. Next I will show you two more free apps that deserve to be mentioned in this list of best podcast apps for Android.
Pocket Casts review stats:
- 1.4% of reviewers experience crashes of the app
- 0.5% encounter errors
- 3.7% report bugs
Podcast Addict (free)
This free podcast app is a long time classic on the Play Store. With over one million downloads, Podcast Addict is probably the most downloaded podcast player app for Android. It’s not as beautiful as Pocket Casts, but it gets the job done.
There is a slight learning curve to the app though. You will have to spend some time to figure out where you can find the settings and features you need. For example, the “Discover Podcasts” section of the app is hidden behind a plus-sign-button in the upper right corner of your screen.
Playing podcasts with Podcast Addict works perfectly fine. You can choose from a list on latest episodes, downloaded, or you can simply discover new podcasts and play individual episodes without subscribing to the whole thing. If you’re a rather “advanced” podcast listener like I am, you will have a list of 30+ subscriptions already that you don’t want to clutter with stuff you won’t listen to.
Although Podcast Addict is not the prettiest podcast player out there, Google Play reviews show that this is by far the most stable podcast app on the market. To paint you a picture: Podcast Addict vs. Pocket Casts – only 0.8% of users report crashes compared to 1.4% of those using Pocket Casts.
You also have the option to “donate” $2.99 to remove all ads.
Podcast Addict review stats:
- 0.8% of reviewers experience crashes of the app
- 0.6% encounter errors
- 1.1% report bugs
Podcast Republic (free)
Podcast Republic is one of those apps that does everything. Inside this podcast player you can expect to find every feature you need, starting from custom sleep timers, equalizers, playback options and a car mode! Car modes are rarely found in podcast apps on the Play Store, although lots of people listen to podcasts during their daily commute.
For those of you who manually download podcast episodes (for some reason), Podcast Republic allows you to manually add files to be played back later.
An extra feature that I couldn’t find in any other app (and please correct me if I’m wrong and you find one), is the ability to add notes to podcast episodes. This is something I used a lot before switching over to Pocket Casts.
I get the feeling that Podcast Republic might show you more information and settings than you actually need. It’s easy to get confused by the vast amount of options and buttons in the beginning, but once you get it – you got it.
To remove ads you have the option to make a small $1.99 in-app purchase.
Podcast Republic review stats:
- 3.6% of reviewers experience crashes of the app
- 2% encounter errors
- 3.1% report bugs
Please let me know in the comments what you think about the apps, and if your favourite app didn’t make it on the list. Tell everybody why YOUR favourite app is the best, and I will make sure to add it to the post.