As it turns out, all podcast apps are not created equal. Many first-time podcast listeners will probably default to whichever app is on their phone (such as Apple or Google podcasts), but there are a lot of options that offer different features, interfaces and designs.
The Podcast App might be one of the better players I’ve tested. It’s got a great setup that suggests podcasts based on interests or on previously enjoyed podcasts. For someone who hasn’t built up a library of favorite shows, this app makes discovering new podcasts easy. Its interface is easy to navigate, aids in finding curated offerings, recommends episodes based on duration and can search by keyword. Like most apps, the player has a sleep timer. The app’s big cons are that there are ads (though you can pay to have them removed) and a lack of support for CarPlay.
If you like the thought of having a good system for discovering new podcasts but also want CarPlay support (and to be able to continue your listen on your computer), Podbean is an ideal option. While it doesn’t have the same helpful setup as The Podcast App, its discover page is well organized and offers topic playlists. The app also includes radio stations, and the player has a setting for intelligent speed. Its features are best utilized by creating an account, but it’s free to do so.
For those with a solid library and want to export it to a better player, Podcast Player: Castbox is a popular option that’s been around for a couple of years. It offers solid support for your computer and CarPlay, as well as having a really good user interface for storing favorite episodes and playlists. It’s also developing a Zen Mode, which lets you customize a white noise machine. Some of the icons in player are a little small and hard to hit, so if you’ve got a smaller smartphone, this might be a big con.
There are other apps out there with different costs and features. Don’t be afraid to try a couple, and find one that really speaks to you. After all, it’s a new year, so maybe it’s time to try something different!