The best podcast apps for iPhone and iPad – News Block

Justin Duino / Instruction Geek

We live in the golden age of podcasts, so there is no better time than the present to get a good player to enjoy it all. Here are our top picks for listening to podcasts on your iPhone and Apple Watch.

Before running to the app store to download a third-party tool, take a look at the stock app first. Apple Podcasts is a basic all-rounder that comes pre-installed on your iPhone (although you can remove or re-download it from the App Store if you want).

It’s a solid choice for podcast fans old and new, especially those with a few Apple devices, as it syncs via iCloud so you can pick up where you left off on your Mac, iPad, Apple Watch, HomePod, Apple TV, and more. further.

The app is surprisingly customizable for a package, allowing you to do things like choose how many episodes of a show you want to keep offline per podcast. You can customize some parts of the UI (the forward and back buttons), and there’s a whole set of additional Apple Watch-specific settings if you’d rather listen that way.

Apple Podcasts for iPhone

Since it’s an Apple app, Siri will use it when you ask the assistant to play a podcast. This works pretty well most of the time, and you can even ask Siri to play podcasts you’re not currently subscribed to, and they’ll open in the app. Apple Podcasts integrates nicely with CarPlay, so you can enjoy your shows while you’re driving, too.

There’s not much to write home about in terms of additional features. You can change the speed of a podcast to play faster or slower (although this will affect audio quality), set a sleep timer, and save specific episodes indefinitely. There are limited podcast suggestions based on your listening habits, what’s currently popular, and editor’s picks.

Don’t dismiss Apple Podcasts just because it comes pre-installed, especially if you want an app that “just works” with your other Apple devices.

Overcast is a simple and easy to use app with some powerful features that set it apart from the rest. An App Store Editor’s Choice winner and a favorite podcast of many tech publications, the app is free and supported by ads on the play screen. You can remove them by subscribing to Overcast Premium for $9.99, which also allows you to upload files and supports continued development.

Two of the app’s standout features are Voice Boost, which applies equalizer settings to your podcasts that are designed to make spoken words easier to hear, and Smart Speed, which shortens silences and speeds up episodes without distorting the sound. Audio. The app also has some powerful playlist tools with filters to create your own custom radio station.

Cloudy for iPhone

Customization runs deep, from theme colors to a full menu titled “Foolish Details” to those extra preferences that let you make your podcast app work exactly the way you want it to. There are per-episode settings for things like how many episodes should be downloaded and retained at a time, and the app even remembers the Voice Boost and Smart Speed ​​settings for each episode (if you want it to).

Overcast has an Apple Watch companion app that saves podcasts to your wrist and supports streaming over a cellular connection (if your watch supports it), plus CarPlay compatibility for in-car listening.

Pocket Casts is a nifty podcast app that seems to have been designed with power users in mind. The app is free to download and use, but to get the full Pocket Casts experience (and to support app development), you’ll need to subscribe to Pocket Casts Plus for $3.99/month or $39.99/year.

Your contribution unlocks bonuses like access to desktop apps for Windows and macOS (plus a web app), the ability to organize your podcasts into folders, Apple Watch functionality, 10GB of cloud storage for your own files, and more. themes and icons to further modify. the appearance of the application.

Despite paying for some of its features, there’s still a lot to love about Pocket Casts, even if you stick with the free version. By creating an account, you can sync your podcasts with other platforms, including the Android app. The UI is uncluttered and easy to use, and all your podcasts are presented in a tiled interface under the “Podcasts” tab for quick reading.

iPhone Pocket Cases

The most interesting feature of the application is the “Filters”, which allow you to quickly create playlists based on set criteria. For example, you can apply a filter that only includes certain podcasts (such as your favorite newsletters), in an unplayed state, that were published in the past week. You can also filter by duration, download status, whether you starred in the episode, and media type. It’s a powerful tool if you have a lot of subscriptions and want a smarter way to get through shows.

Pocket Casts works with CarPlay and lets you send content to AirPlay (like the rest of this list), Chromecast, and Sonos devices. The app also has Volume Boost to optimize vocals and a Trim Silence setting, in addition to the usual speed controls and an extensive menu of options to customize the listening experience to your liking.

Castro takes a unique approach to managing your podcast library. You can use it like a traditional podcasting app where you pick a show and an episode, but it works better as a curation platform. It’s great if you’re feeling overwhelmed by a flood of incoming podcasts and don’t necessarily want to listen to them all.

Subscribing to podcasts is quick and easy, just find and tap the plus “+” icon directly from the results page (you can also import your podcasts from other apps). New episodes will appear in the “Inbox” tab, where you can choose to put them in your “Queue” or archive them. You can then work through your queue as if it were a fountain, with one episode transitioning to the next.

Castro for iPhone

Castro is free to use, but some features are hidden behind a $2.99/month or $18.99/year subscription. The subscription unlocks features like an Apple Watch companion app, a Trim Silence feature, the ability to trim Safari audio and listen to it with Castro, per-podcast settings, and an Enhance Voice audio boost. The free version is supported by ads that take the form of promoted programs, which also disappear when you upgrade.

There are plenty of options for customizing Castro outside of this, including download limits, UI tweaks, the ability to create Siri Shortcuts, plus color tints and light or dark themes. Castro is worth a try if you’re looking for a unique method to get your podcast problem under control, especially if you listen to a lot of shows that put out frequent (even daily) episodes.

More podcast apps you might want to check out

There’s no shortage of podcast apps on the App Store if the ones we’ve listed above don’t do it for you. Google Podcasts is Google’s answer to a podcast app, initially built for Android but now available everywhere. It uses data collected from your Google account to recommend podcasts, which makes it highly personalized but a bit scary if you think about it for too long.

Spotify is another big player in the podcast arena as it combines music, audiobooks, and podcasts into one app. You don’t need a subscription to listen, though you’ll get ads if you opt for the free tier. Spotify invests in programming and includes a selection of exclusive podcasts, so check it out if you can’t find what you’re looking for elsewhere. Already subscribed to YouTube Music? It also has podcasts!

Browsing Spotify podcasts via the web app

Breaker is an app that takes a social approach to consuming podcasts, allowing you to follow friends to see what they’re listening to and get recommendations that way. It also works like a standard podcast app, is easy to use, and its premium tier adds features like Apple Watch support and a space saver that can compress episodes right on your device.

If you’re looking for more unique podcast content, check out Stitcher. In addition to being a good all-rounder with strong customization and helpful recommendations, the app features exclusive podcasts for premium subscribers. Lastly, if you’re looking for a premium direct shopping experience, give Downcast a try. It costs $2.99 ​​and is designed for an offline experience, allowing you to easily download, organize, and listen to podcasts from a single app (with CarPlay and Apple Watch support).

Download, Listen, Delete

Podcasts provide an unlimited amount of entertainment, and you can consume them while doing almost anything. Unfortunately, this can make us a bit overzealous when signing up for new shows. Make sure podcasts don’t take up all of free space on your iPhone.

Looking for Android apps instead? Take a look at our favorite Android podcast apps.

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