So many great podcasts, so little time. If you want to stand a chance of getting through all your favorite shows in any given week, you need a feature-rich podcast app to keep you on track.
But which are the best podcast apps for iPhone and iPad? If you love listening to podcasts on your iOS device, keep reading. We’re going to round up seven iPhone podcast apps that you need to check out today.
Overcast is well-established as one of the most popular podcast apps for iPhone.
It might not boast the uber-flashy visuals that some of its competitors offer (though the aesthetics are by no means bad). However, the app’s list of features is impressive. Some of Overcast’s best features include Voice Boost (to normalize speech volume), Smart Speed (to automatically skip silence and other gaps), and an iOS widget.
Overcast also works with both Apple CarPlay and the Apple Watch. It doesn’t matter whether you’re jogging through a park or stuck in traffic; you’ll always be able to access your pods quickly and easily.
And best of all? Overcast is entirely free; there are no pro features. The only in-app purchase is a $10 per year subscription to remove the ads.
Download: Overcast (Free)
2. Pocket Casts
Pocket Casts is one of the best podcast apps for Android. Unsurprisingly, its quality translates onto iOS too; it’s also one of the best podcast apps for iPhone and iPad.
Unlike Overcast, the app is not free; it costs a one-time fee of $4. If you want to use the web app, you’ll need to spend a further $9. Pocket Casts also offers a standalone app for macOS. This means you can seamlessly switch from mobile to desktop when needed; your playback progress will sync across your devices.
Features on the iOS version of the app include a silence trimmer, variable playback speed, support for podcast chapters, and multiple themes (including a dark mode).
Pocket Casts works with both Apple Watch and CarPlay. It also supports playback via Chromecast and Sonos.
Download: Pocket Casts ($4)
Spotify’s acquisition of Gimlet Media in early 2019 signaled the company’s intent to become one of the most important podcast players on both iOS and Android. It’s still the early days of this, but the ability to access all your streamed music, local music, and podcasts through a single mobile interface has an obvious appeal.
As you’d expect, Spotify’s podcasting features already have plenty of polish, but at the time of writing, they are let down by lack of support for adding your own podcasts to the app. You have to listen to content that’s already part of the Spotify universe.
Download: Spotify (Free, subscription available)
Castro is the best iPhone podcast player for anyone who subscribes to dozens of shows.
The app has a unique approach to library management. You subscribe to the podcasts you like, then as new episodes drop, Castro adds them to the New tab. You can review the this tab, adding any shows you want to download to the queue, and archiving the rest.
Castro’s approach to managing your podcast library means you won’t waste space with episodes you’ll never listen to. It will also stop you from drowning under the daily deluge of new content.
Some of Castro’s other noteworthy features include silence trimming, chapter support, and support for Apple CarPlay.
Castro is free to use, but a $3 per quarter (or $9 per year) subscription unlocks pro features such as voice enhancement, the ability to play audio files from your iCloud account, and customizable settings on a per-podcast basis.
Download: Castro (Free, subscription available)
5. Apple Podcasts
We’d be remiss not to mention the iPhone’s native podcast app: Apple Podcasts.
Apple Podcasts has some significant benefits. There’s Siri support, so you can control podcast playback with your voice. It also offers other ways to access your content through an associated app for Apple TV and on your Mac’s desktop via iTunes. The app is also seamlessly integrated with Apple’s podcast directory of 550,000 shows.
Additionally, the app has some of the best podcast discovery tools. There’s a Recommended section which uses smart algorithms to suggest new shows you’ll like, as well as Top Charts from around the world.
Indeed, if you’re a casual listener who doesn’t need some of the fancier features offered by the other iPhone podcast apps here, the Apple Podcast app should more than suffice.
Download: Apple Podcasts (Free)
If you’re the type of person who loves the social aspect of consuming entertainment, there’s a good chance Breaker is the right iPhone podcast app for you.
Social interaction is the app’s key selling point. Social features include the ability to like and comments on episodes and a chat feature to talk about content in real-time. It also features user profiles that allow you to display your all-time favorite shows and episodes, plus an easy way to share your listening experiences on Facebook and Twitter.
In terms of podcast playback, Breaker provides 0.5x-3x speed playback, a silence skipper, and a dark mode. The app is free to download, and you can remove ads for $5 per month.
Download: Breaker (Free)
CastBox has been around for a while, but it went under the spotlight in mid-2018 with the launch of ContentBox—a new blockchain-based approach to rewarding content creators for their efforts.
The argument claims that it’s almost impossible for the vast majority of podcast creators to make a living off their efforts. The most popular shows are generally owned by a few existing media brands: NPR, the New York Times, Gimlet Media, the Guardian, and so on.
ContentBox allows podcast creators to offer paid content directly on the CastBox platform. In doing so, it became the first podcast app to provide a third-party distribution model for premium content.
If you’re a passionate believer in rewarding content creators, the platform is definitely worth checking out.
Download: CastBox (Free, subscription available)
Subscribe to the Best Podcasts
The apps we’ve discussed are all among the best podcast apps for iPhone and iPad. Of course, they’re not much use without some podcasts to actually listen to.