A selection of the best Android apps for your podcast needs
Podcasts are a pretty big deal these days, and it's not really surprising considering we live in the age of on-demand media. Instead of tuning into the radio wondering what topics might be discussed, we can seek out regular web and app-based broadcasts that cover specialist subjects that pique our interest, and what's more, we're not beholden to a specific schedule; we can download or stream them any time after they go live.
Plenty of this content is still consumed via YouTube and its dedicated apps, which is a perfectly viable option. But while iOS users have dedicated podcasting via iTunes, what else is there for Android users? Quite a bit, as it happens.
Google Play Music - (Free OR Premium Account for £9.99 per month)
Just as Apple has official podcast support via iTunes, so too does Google for its Android users via Google Play Music. There's a lot to like here, being an officially supported Google app and integrated into the Android and Google app suite ecosystem, as well as Chrome, means it ends up being the default choice for a lot of podcasters, meaning there's a ton of choice for you as a listener! The app interface is also nice and simple, straightforward, and easy to use, in the proper Google Material Design fashion. Google has also brought its experience from YouTube and the Google Play App store in terms of discovery features, so you can always be sure it will push things that are interesting and relevant to your listening history and searches.
And as it's Google, everything syncs nicely across platforms and devices. You can access your subscriptions as easily on a Chromebook as you can on your Android phone or tablet.
SoundCloud has been growing in popularity for self-publishing music for a few years now, but has also taken an up-turn in interest from Podcasters. It's primarly a streaming setup, rather like YouTube, instead of a downloads affair, but you can favourite podcasts to listen to them at your own time. The interface is nice and clean and you can subcscribe to authors for alerts and updates on their latest content.
Spotify has been offering podcast content for about a year, but there's already plenty to choose from as the platform is so popular and has such a wide user-base already from its well-established music streaming and radio service. It's perfectly usable when free, but if you want to banish the adverts then you'll need to fork out a tenner per month. The big plus for Spotify is that its discovery platform is very good, making it really easy to find content that suits you.
This one is a particularly good option if you already have an Amazon Prime subscription for the delivery and Amazon Video perks, as Amazon has now added free access to its Audiable Channels podcast service. Additionally, as with many of Amazon's services, this is integrated with Amazon Alexa, so you can stream content directly to the AI Speaker with a voice command.
PARA is free and feature-rich, but also has extensive smartwatch support, as well as built-in support for Chromecast. Audio and video podcasts are both supported and the app has plenty of options to allow you to customise your feed and set your preferences just how you like them.
Pocket Casts has stormed onto the scene and is highly regarded for its fantastic interface. Developer support is good too, with the developer constantly updating with new and interesting features. There's also a good level of control you have over your downloads, subscriptions, playlists and preferences, and the discovery tools are robust as well.