When Spotify signed a $200 million deal for Joe Rogan’s podcast to make it exclusive, it was clear that podcasts are a big thing online. Although you can find podcasts on a variety of topics, you should choose a multi-purpose platform for smooth listening. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with this list of the best podcast apps for Android.
All of the programs listed have earned a good reputation over the years and are free to use, but you may have to pay to expand their capabilities and functionality. Reading this article will give you an overview of what each app has to offer. Let’s get started.
1. Google Podcasts: A completely free podcast app
Google Podcasts is an app for listening to podcasts on Android. Although it doesn’t have many features, it does the job well. With a familiar interface, you will hardly spend time understanding the layout of the program. It’s also because it shares a design with all the other Google apps on your Android device.
This app will work best for people who know what podcasts to listen to and know about their favorite shows. If you’re counting on the app to help you discover new podcasts, this might not be the one for you.
However, you can search for your favorite shows and add them to your library, subscribe to them, turn on notifications for new episodes, or even download them offline. So, keeping track of shows is not a problem at all.
Oh, and the best part? No third-party intrusive advertising. Additionally, the app integrates seamlessly with Google Assistant and Google Home and is compatible with Android Auto. All in all, this is one of the best free podcast apps for Android.
- A simple user experience with no frills.
- No intrusive ads.
- Smooth and optimized user interface.
- Reliable playback.
- It’s easy to track your shows.
- Playback controls are limited to basic.
- Not the best for new show recommendations.
- Does not allow episode playlist.
- Problems when streaming series to other devices.
2. Pocket Casts: A podcast app with great playback controls
With over a million downloads on the Play Store, Pocket Casts is one of the best ad-free podcast apps for Android. Like the Google Podcasts app, Pocket Casts also has a relatively simple user interface. Although, finding new content becomes easy as you discover shows using different filters.
It has also been praised for being a great app for organizing shows and automating and managing downloads. Additionally, Pocket Casts is ad-free and fully compatible with Chromecast and Android Auto. But our favorite feature is the playback controls, such as changing playback speed and trimming silence, which are unheard of in other apps.
The downside, however, is that performance stutters and there have been instances where playback has automatically paused and interrupted. Although this may be due to battery limitations, which you can disable. However, you need to subscribe to Pocket Casts Plus to access features like web player, folder organization, additional themes, etc.
- Great features for sorting and organizing your library.
- Excellent playback control.
- Simple user interface.
- The Discover tab helps users discover new content.
- Skips the playlist feature.
- You have to pay for additional features.
- Not the smoothest user interface.
- Many user reviews highlight the program crashing and stopping playback suddenly.
Price: Free | Pocket Casts Plus costs $0.99 per month
3. Spotify: Best for discovering new podcasts
Spotify is arguably the gold standard for listening to music on mobile devices. However, he has earned the popularity of podcasts and continues to produce tons of exclusive content worth listening to. Spotify stands out by curating content and helping you discover new shows.
In addition, it has a fantastic collection of shows, and we honestly think there is no competition. Popular podcasts like the Joe Rogan Experience and Michelle Obama are now exclusive to Spotify. An underrated feature is that you can seamlessly switch devices while listening and control playback with multiple devices – say if you’re playing on your computer, you can control playback on your phone.
However, the downside is that the free version of Spotify has a lot of ads, which is annoying. So you need to purchase Spotify Premium to watch without ads.
- Best for discovering new shows.
- Has one of the largest catalogs of podcasts.
- Great user experience.
- Ability to create multiple playlists.
- Control and manage playback on multiple devices.
- Free ad version packages.
- There is no light mode.
- Not exclusive to podcasts.
- Basic playback controls compared to Pocket Casts.
Price: Free | Spotify Premium starting at $4.99 per month
4. Castbox: Best for discovering indie podcasts
Castbox is another minimal app for listening to podcasts. It is easy to use and contains a familiar user interface. Castbox lets you discover multiple indie podcasts and find hidden gems. Another reason it makes the list is because it has almost every popular podcast on the internet. The app has over ten million downloads and an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 on the Play Store.
Unlike most apps, it also lets you create your own playlists and share them on social media. Plus, it integrates seamlessly with Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home. In addition, you can also find audiobooks and radio on Castbox.
However, the main drawback is that the ads are intrusive. In our experience, we even had the illustrations of the exhibition covered with advertising. To remove ads, access advanced playback settings, and other features, you’ll need to subscribe to a premium plan. Another downside is that the user interface, while simple, isn’t as polished as the other apps on the list.
- Extensive list of indie podcasts.
- Easy to use interface.
- Search and download podcasts for offline listening.
- Create your own playlists
- Listen to audiobooks and radio.
- A lot of intrusive advertising.
- The user interface stutters a bit.
- Playback sometimes stops halfway through.
- Battery drain complaints.
Price: Free | Premium starts at $0.99/month
5. Stitcher: Clean UI
Stitcher is a well-designed and one of the oldest podcast apps on Android. The user interface is pretty slick and also great at helping you discover new content. Similar to Castbox, you get an expanded catalog of podcasts, not just the main ones.
What makes it one of the best podcast apps for Android is the features that help you sort your podcasts. The ability to group podcasts by topic or any other heading is one of our favorite features. What’s more, the layout is easy to navigate and you can jump to the latest episodes from your subscriptions, episodes you’ve liked, or downloads.
There’s also a car mode that lets you connect to Android Auto or play it directly on a smart audio system, and an offline mode (similar to Castbox) to play downloaded content without the internet in the free version.
However, you cannot access the app without creating an account. Although you can sign up with a Google or Apple account, this may discourage many from using Stitcher.
- Clean user interface
- “Show Groups” to organize your shows.
- Offline mode in the free version.
- The ability to adjust the playback speed and set the sleep timer.
- It is not possible to use the program without registration.
- Problems with autoplay.
- Restarts series from time to time.
- You need to buy premium to get access to exclusive shows and no ads.
Price: Free | Stitcher Premium costs $4.99 per month
Not really. Although there is an app from Google called Google Podcasts, it will not come pre-installed on your Android device. You will need to install it from the Play Store.
Spotify has been the most used platform for listening to podcasts in the recent past.
Yes, you can listen to Spotify exclusive shows like The Joe Rogan Experience in the free version. Although playback will contain ads.
The best podcast apps for Android for better listening
These are some of our recommendations for the best free podcast apps for Android. We hope this guide has helped you make an informed decision. So, which podcast app are you planning to use and why? Share your thoughts in the comments below.