Podcasts have gained a lot of popularity in the past few years, and with a good reason: listening to audio shows on the go, helps you utilize your time better, especially while making a commute. There are several podcast apps available for all sorts of devices— the desktop, web and mobile devices. As most of the users listen to podcasts on the go, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that mobile is the primary turf for podcast applications. While we’ve already covered the best podcast apps for Android, it’s about time we do a round-up of the 10 best podcast apps for iPhone:
If you’re short of time and have to quickly settle down on a podcast app, look no further than Overcast. Wrapped around with a simplistic design, it packs a lot of features that make it the single best podcast app for iOS.
For starters, it lets you search, browse and download podcasts for offline listening. The discovery platform lets you discover trending podcasts via Twitter. Perhaps the feature I love the most is “Smart Speed“, which automatically adjusts the play speed to save time. The “Voice Boost” feature enhances voice and reduces the background noise (if any). You can create “Smart Playlists“, so you can prioritize and add multiple podcasts to a list and then listen to it in one go. Playback can be controlled via EarPods so you don’t have to fumble around with your phone every time you need to play/pause. It also has an Apple Watch app and CarPlay support.
The latest update brings support for widgets, rich notifications and a few 3D Touch specific actions. The free version of Overcast is ad-supported and the premium version is available as a $9.99/year subscription.
Install: (Free, ad-supported)
Downcast is another powerful podcast app available for the iPhone which, of course, lets you search, browse and download podcasts for offline listening. It ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to other features, too. For instance, you can create “Smart Playlists“, speed up playback, control playback via EarPods and set a sleep timer. It also offers an Apple Watch app and CarPlay support.
If there’s one feature that would be written on the masthead, it is support for iCloud syncing with other iOS devices, and even with a Mac. Yes, Downcast has a (separate!) paid Mac app which can sync your podcast subscriptions, playlists and other settings.
3. Pocket Casts
Pocket Cast is another beautiful and powerful podcast app for iPhone which often goes nip and tuck with Overcast. It breaks down the sections into featured, trending & popular, so you can never run short of great podcast recommendations. Like its competitors, it features the option to control playback speed, boost volume for better clarity and trim silence automatically, so you can save yourself some time. It supports many iPad-specific features like SlideOver, Split View and Picture-in-Picture.
You can control the playback from the comfort of your Apple Watch or CarPlay. You can also create a Pocket Casts sync account wherein you can sync your podcast subscriptions, playback progress and other settings to the cloud and restore whenever required. If you are keen on listening to podcasts on your desktop, it also offers a web-based version for a one-time purchase of $9.
4. Castro: Podcast Player
Castro by Supertop is a clean-looking and elegant podcast player for iPhone. Castro prides itself in bringing along new concepts like “Episode Triage”. Episode Triage takes a little bit different approach to how you listen to new podcasts by featuring three different sections: queue, inbox, and archive. Let’s admit it: we subscribe to a lot of podcasts and may not want to hear each and every episode. This different categorization by Castro can greatly help to reduce the subscription clutter and make it manageable.
It has some other neat features like rich notifications, a sleep-timer, dark mode and CarPlay support. It even offers an iMessage app, so you can quickly share recently played episodes. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have an Apple Watch and iPad app as of now.
5. TuneIn Radio
The early beginnings of TuneIn Radio date way back to 2002 when it was known as RadioTime. Today, it lets you listen to over 100,000 radio stations across various genres: including sports, news, music — you name it. The TuneIn Radio app lets you search for stations, podcasts and audiobooks. It lets you set a sleep timer and favourite stations for quick access.
It has an Apple Watch app and support for CarPlay and Google Chromecast. The free version of TuneIn radio is supported with banner advertisements. The premium version does away with ads and gives access to exclusive radio stations, all for a monthly subscription of $9.99. (varies with country)
Install: (Free, with in-app purchases)
Acast lets you discover new podcasts quickly with the help of curated listings or you can browse through different categories. You can stream podcasts or download them for offline listening. It also offers a subscription program dubbed “Show Pass” that unlocks access to premium content starting $1.99/month.
There aren’t many laudable features, but if you’re looking for a no-nonsense lightweight alternative, Acast could just be the one.
Install: (Free, with in-app purchases)
7. Stitcher Radio
Founded in 2008, Stitcher Radio is an award-winning online radio service that provides free streaming of audio shows and podcasts. Stitcher Radio for iOS delivers personalised content, lets you “stitch” (read: create) custom playlists and stream/download from over 65,000 sources. It supports Apple CarPlay and has integrations with over 50 car entertainment systems including Ford, BMW, Jaguar and more. The premium version brings ad-free listening and unlocks access to exclusive content.
Download: (Free, with in-app purchases)
8. iCatcher! Podcast Player
iCatcher lets you search, subscribe and stream/download podcasts. You can create custom playlists with several filters, set playback speed amongst several other options. It also offers an Apple Watch and an iPad app. It is a solid podcast player with dozens of customisable options and will set you back about $2.99.
9. Pod Wrangler
Pod Wrangler lets you discover and subscribe to various podcasts. It comes with Apple Watch support, playback speed control and a sleep timer. It even lets you import MP3 files, effectively turning them into podcasts. The free version limits the number of podcasts you can subscribe to and is ad-supported. The reason why it wouldn’t be my first recommendation is because it hasn’t been updated since 2015 and there are much better, even free alternatives available.
Install: (Free, with a $1.99 in-app purchase)
10. Apple Podcast
Apple bundles a stock podcast app with its iDevices and I believe that it is worthy of a mention in this list. Apple’s podcast app has an easy-to-use interface and has different categories of podcasts to choose from. You can subscribe and download podcasts as you need. Other than this, Apple’s solution is pretty bare-bones. If you’re a power user, give any other podcast app a try from this list by all means.
The Best iPhone Podcast Apps To Try
Well, there you have it. These are some of the very best podcasts apps available for iPhone. In case you’ve spotted a noteworthy app that you think deserves a spot on this list, let me know in the comments section below.