Radio is a dying format — err, at least in the traditional manner. These days, many of us prefer to listen to podcasts or other streaming media that allow us to listen at our own leisure. Thankfully, there are thousands upon thousands of amazing podcasts available on-demand. Below are a few of our favorite podcast apps for Android that allow you to quickly access The Daily and NPR’s robust lineup wherever you might roam.
If you want to know more about podcasts in general, check out our full guide to podcasts, which also includes more recommendations for podcast apps.
Pocket Casts ($4)
Pocket Casts is one of the most popular podcast apps on Android, and it sets itself apart with a modern interface that looks great and functions even better. The app supports both light and dark themes, and offers settings that let you control your download preferences — a welcome feature if you don’t have unlimited data. You can also build a playback podcast, trim silent periods in podcasts, and a host of other actions.
Pocket Casts also lets users sign in with any Android device, and syncs podcast progress access devices — especially useful if you use multiple devices. The developers behind the app also routinely release bug fixes and updates, so you can expect more great features as time goes on. At $4, the price is steep, but worth it if you love podcasts.
Google introduced podcast support for Google Play Music way back in 2016, but it’s taken until recently for Google to finally release a stand-alone podcast app that fits into Google’s ecosphere. As you would expect from Google, it has a sleek design that’s similar to most podcast apps, while still following Google’s style, and it comes with access to more than 2 million podcasts at launch. It’s integrated with Google Assistant and Google Home, so you can use voice commands to play, pause, and resume podcasts, and your podcast listening will be synced across all your different Google devices. It’s a bit thinner on features than other podcast apps, but with some cool features on the way — including closed captions and real-time translations — Google Podcasts is one to watch.
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RadioPublic is a relative newcomer to the Podcasting world, but it has some pretty impressive credentials; RadioPublic’s founding partner is the nonprofit Public Radio Exchange. The team at RadioPublic wanted to create a podcast app that helps listeners discover and connect with content creators. While the story behind the app is pretty impressive on its own, it’s also an excellent option for listening to your favorite podcasts.
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Castbox is another fairly new podcast app that makes finding your favorite content simple. With Castbox, you can listen to more than 50 million different podcasts from around the world. In addition to providing a huge assortment of content, Castbox offers a clean and easy to use interface.
Podcast Addict has a pretty nice feature set, especially for a free app. It offers support for Sonos speakers, so if you like to listen to podcasts around the house, this may be the perfect app for you. Video podcasts are also supported on Podcast Addict.
The trade-off for these features is that the interface is a little cluttered and outdated. You’ll still be able to tweak download preferences and other settings, however, and the app offers support for internet radio stations, allowing you to listen to awesome stations like KEXP and Radio Free Brooklyn, no matter where you live.
SoundCloud has become quite the podcast app over the past few years, and many content creators now choose to upload their podcasts directly to SoundCloud in addition to other platforms. The main downside is that it will take some time for you to find all the podcasts you want to listen to, but once you do, everything will work nicely and smoothly. The app features a handsome interface, too, and allows you to designate “favorite” tracks you’d like to listen to at a later time.
SoundCloud is largely about streaming rather than downloading, however, so if you’re looking for something that you can use offline, there might be a better option on the app market.
As the most popular streaming music service, it’s surprising it took Spotify so long to jump on the podcast bandwagon. Spotify has a beautiful user interface that is incredibly simple to use. With apps for both Windows and Mac, it’s also easy to continue listening to your podcast at work. If you like obscure podcasts, however, Spotify may not be the best option. Spotify carefully curates the podcasts on its platform, meaning you may not be able to find less popular ones.