Google doesn’t provide their own podcast app for Android anymore, but that’s fine. There are great podcast apps available for Android, whether you’re willing to pay for an app as good as anything you’d find on an iPhone or want a polished, free app.
Android apps are improving at a very fast pace. Less than a year and a half ago, we covered six of the best podcast apps available for Android. Today, the Android podcast app scene is completely different. There’s one clear, best paid podcast app you should buy. If you’re looking for a free app, there’s a great new one for you.
Pocket Casts – $4
If you’re willing to spend $4, Pocket Casts is the best podcast app you can get for Android. The app’s best feature is its great user interface. When we covered Android podcast apps in the past, we found that all of them had fairly clunky, cluttered, and confusing user interfaces. Pocket Casts now has a beautiful interface, whether you’re using a smartphone or a tablet.
It also offers a cross-device syncing feature, so you can sync your podcasts, played episodes, and current place in each episode between your Android phone and tablet. Or, if you also have an iPhone or iPad, you can purchase Pocket Casts for iOS and sync your podcasts with iDevices. For example, Pocket Casts can sync your podcast data between an Android smartphone and an iPad.
Pocket Casts is packed with useful features, including variable-speed playback so you can play podcast episodes at a faster speed without messing with third-party plugin apps. Other features include a sleep timer, quick skip back and forward controls, automatic download settings, and more. If you listen to podcasts on a regular basis, Pocket Casts is absolutely worth the $4.
AntennaPod – Free
If you don’t want to spend $4 — or you just don’t listen to podcasts much and the purchase doesn’t seem worth it to you — AntennaPod is the best free podcast app you can get on Android. The interface is much cleaner than most other Android podcast apps, including paid ones. It’s not as stylish and eye-catching as Pocket Casts is, but it has a clean, simple design.
Podcast discovery and browsing isn’t ideal, offering either a clunky search feature or a way to manually add podcast URLs, so it’s not as good an experience as Pocket Casts.
AntennaPod doesn’t offer as many advanced features as you’ll find in other podcast apps. For example, it offers subscription syncing via gpodder.net, but there’s no way to sync your entire state including your place in each episode, which is very useful if you listen to podcasts on multiple devices.
Check out our in-depth review of AntennaPod for more information. Not only is it free, but it’s completely ad-free and doesn’t try to upsell you.
BeyondPod – $7
Some people still swear by BeyondPod. It’s older than both Pocket Casts and AntennaPod, and it shows. This app’s interface is much more cluttered and dated. It’s not as pleasant to use as Pocket Casts or AntennaPod. BeyondPod still offers a separate smartphone app and tablet app, while modern apps like Pocket Casts offer a single one that adapts to your screen size.
If you started using BeyondPod years ago, paid for it, and you’re happy with it and used to its interface, you may not feel compelled to switch to Pocket Casts. Still, anyone looking for a new podcast app and willing to pay money should probably go for Pocket Casts.
BeyondPod functions as a free “lite” version, offering a week-long trial. After a week, you’ll need to pay $7 for an unlock key. This is an awful lot when the superior Pocket Casts is only $4.
Doggcatcher – $3
Doggcatcher is another old classic. Before Pocket Casts stole the show, Doggcatcher and BeyondPod were the two premier paid podcast apps for Android. Like BeyondPod, Doggcatcher feels a bit older compared to Pocket Casts and its beautiful interface. Also like BeyondPod, it’s very configurable — but this can be a disadvantage as it clutters the interface.
If you’re already using Doggcatcher and you’re happy with it, you can keep using it without missing out on much functionality. But if you’re looking for a new podcast app, you should getPocket Casts.
If you want to try out Doggcatcher, you can get the lite version for a week-long free trial. After that, you’ll need to pay $3 for the full version. You should probably spend the extra dollar and get Pocket Casts instead.
What’s the Best Android Podcast App?
In our opinion, the best podcast app for Android is clearly Pocket Casts. If you’d rather have a free app, you should use AntennaPod, which has the best interface of all the free Android podcast apps by far.
BeyondPod, Doggcatcher, and other Android podcast apps we’ve looked at in the past tend to have fairly cluttered interfaces. They just aren’t a good option for most people when Pocket Casts is available for a similar price.
For more great Android apps, check out our list of the best Android apps.
Which is your favorite Android podcast app? Did we miss it? Leave a comment and share your own experiences!
Image Credit: Marcus Quigmire on Flickr