If you have an Android phone or tablet, you unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) do not have access to something like the stock “Podcasts” app that comes packaged with new Apple devices.
Don’t let that discourage you though, as you still have access to plenty of options thanks to the amazing selection of apps available on the Google Play Store. Let’s take a look at a few of the best options below.
One of the original podcast apps on Android, Doggcatcher has built up quite a following over the years.
While its interface is perhaps a bit behind the times compared to its current competition, it remains a feature-packed app, with the ability to customize playback speed and auto download/delete episodes of your favorite podcasts.
If you happen to own a Chromcast stick, this app will work with it, meaning you will be able to stream your favorite podcast to your TV/entertainment system. It costs $2.99, which, while expensive for an app, is pretty cheap in the grand scheme of things.
Beyondpod mixes a brilliant user interface with a vast selection of podcasts to choose from, enough that even the most eclectic of you should be able to find what you are looking for.
Like Doggcatcher, it supports Chromecast. It can also sync across multiple devices, and update your favorite podcasts automatically.
You can purchase Beyondpod for $6.99, which is fairly pricy. That said, there is a 7 day free trial, so you can test it out and see if you like it before buying.
Podcast Republic’s claim to fame is that it allows you to search iTunes’ podcast collection, meaning all of you iPhone to Android transplants can finally find all of your favorite shows on your new device.
Like other podcast apps, it syncs across devices and can update automatically in the background. It also is capable of offline playback.
Best of all, Podcast Republic is supported by ads, and thus is completely free!
4. Player FM
The standout feature of Player FM is probably its looks — it adheres to all of Google’s new design motifs.
Like the other apps here, Player FM supports Chromecast and all of the basic features you’d expect out of a podcast app, like speed control and offline support. Beyond that, it also supports smartwatches, which could be a significant factor in your decision making process.
Player FM is entirely free, at least to a point. You can subscribe to up to twenty shows on the house. There’s a “Gold” version of the app that will be released in the future, and it will allow for unlimited podcast subscriptions.
5. Pocket Casts
Winner of the Google Play Editor’s Choice award for March 2014, Pocket Casts is an essential app for most Android users.
It supports Chromecast, variable speed playback, tablet support, and sharing with your friends.
Unlike some other podcast apps, Pocket Casts give you a bit more control. This comes mostly in the form of its associated widget, which lets you manage basic functions of the app from your homescreen.
Additionally, Pocket Casts is available on iOS devices as well, meaning you can sync your podcasts on your Android phone with your iPad, or on your Android tablet with your iPhone.
Like some cloud music apps (e.g. Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, and Beats Music), Pocket Casts comes equipped with discovery features that allow you to easily search for podcasts you might be interested in.
Certainly, other podcast apps have similar features, but Pocket Casts probably delivers them in most streamlined and easy-to-use fashion.
At $3.99 Pocket Casts is an expensive app, but based on the reviews I have read, most users believe it to be worth every penny.
All in all, you really cannot go wrong with any of these apps. There are plenty of options to choose from, and at a certain point, it really becomes all about user preference. I would suggest trying the free options (or Beyondpod’s trial), and see if you like those first. If they do not suit your needs, then go after the paid options. Either way, with so many quality podcast apps out there, you are bound to find the right one for you sooner rather than later.
Featured photo credit: Android/ JD Hancock via flickr.com