Podcasts are the perfect way to enjoy radio shows, news, and other broadcasts. And, in an age where a majority of us have smartphones, there's no shortage of apps to deliver our on-demand audio.
I've gathered a small handful of my favorite podcast apps for Android. While most of them are strictly dedicated to the cause, a couple of them also branch out beyond strict podcast delivery. Enjoy! And share your own favorites in the comments below.
One of oldest podcast apps for Android, DoggCatcher still adds new features on a regular basis. And, while the UI might be a bit cluttered at times, this matters little for an app centered around listening.
Adding feeds is simple, and you can add video options as well as audio. Users can manually add a Web site URL, search by podcast name, browse by category, or let the app make recommendations.
There are numerous personalization features as well, including a sleep timer, automatic sync and download, notifications, and playback order. Once you've got your feeds set up, you can export your settings as a saved file. This way, installing the podcast on another device becomes a one-step process.
Bonus points are awarded for DoggCatcher's extra support for Google's Chromecast dongle. You'll find this as an option under the Miscellaneous settings.
The free "Lite" version of the app features a seven-day trial of the full experience. For $2.99, you'll also get settings such as autorefreshing of feeds and adding more than 10 feeds.
As vibrant and colorful as it is handy, Pocket Casts ($3.99) is also one of the most popular podcast apps for Android. And, why not? It's steeped in settings and functionality and gets better all the time.
Standout features include full playback control from the notification shade, a widget, variable speed playback, filters, and automatic cleanup. Toss in some OPML importing and exporting, a sleep timer, and the ability to save to SD cards and you can see why nearly half a million people have dropped a few bucks for this one.
Pocket Casts also offers support for video feeds and Chromecast. If you're looking for a podcast app that looks as good as it works, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better one.
Perhaps the most popular podcast app of this bunch, BeyondPod might also be considered a more bare-bones experience. While it doesn't have the visual flair of some of the others listed here, it makes up for it with simple and intuitive interface.
BeyondPod lends itself more to discovering podcasts and feeds than it does to letting users tweak settings to their heart's content. In most use cases, that's more than enough. The app isn't completely lacking in extras, though. You still get a sleep timer, a widget, and Feedly integration.
Adding new feeds is as simple as navigating through nearly two dozen categories and collections. This is helpful for users who have a particular area of interest and want to absorb as much as possible.
The full experience will set you back $6.99, so you may want to check out the seven-day trial versions before breaking out the wallet. In addition to a smartphone version, you'll also find an app optimized for tablet layouts.
With more than 150,000 feeds indexed, Podcast Addict has something for everybody. When compared to other paid podcast clients, this free app stands out rather nicely -- as long as you don't mind seeing an ad at the bottom of the screen.
Users can search through networks such as NPR, Revisions3, Twit, and Smodcast or import entire OPML list of shows. Toggle settings such as automatic downloads, deletion, and playback speeds; drill down deeper for per-podcast options, too.
Podcast Addict also offers Chromecast support, which comes in handy for watching your favorite YouTube channels and video feeds. Sprinkle in a widget, some filters, sharing capabilities, and other fun stuff, and you've got a solid podcast client.
Stitcher Radio for Podcasts
If personalized radio and podcasts are your sort of thing, then you will definitely want to consider downloading Stitcher. With access to more than 25,000 shows and podcasts from around the world, this one is all about stitching together your own playlists. Think in terms of on-demand audio news feeds and you'll get the idea.
Search and discover feeds from a host of categories and create your own radio station. While some users might lump everything into one playlist, the app lets you put together as many separate playlists as you'd like, which lets you split different feeds into categories such as sports, history, or comedy.
One of my favorite features is the Smart Station, which learns my listening habits and offers up new content recommendations. The Listen Later option is also great for those times I want to sample a show without subscribing to it entirely. Rounding things out are breaking news, social media integration, push notifications, and a full website experience.
With more than 50 million downloads, most people associate TuneIn Radio with streaming access to 100,000 radio stations. Dig just below the surface, however, and you'll find a decent podcast experience, too.
It's pretty straightforward stuff in that you can search, discover, and manage your feeds. You won't have all of the fancy user-settings that come with standalone podcast apps, but it's a good way to get your feet wet.
If you're looking for a music experience that doesn't require a subscription then you'll want to give this one a go. Connect your Facebook or Google+ profile, and you'll find a website that complements the app nicely.
Have your say
There are plenty of Android apps that allow users to experience their favorite podcast; I have only listed a smattering of my favorites. Which apps do you use to stay connected to your shows and programs? Have you found it helpful to cast your experience to a television or do you prefer to toss in the headphones?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.