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Smartphones & gadgets

Best ways to listen to podcasts on your Android

As an Android user, you have access to a ton of different third-party apps to choose from. The open platform for Android makes it simple for developers to upload apps to the Google Play Store, which gives you an impressively wide range of choices.

You’ll find apps that will help you stream music, listen to podcasts, get organized, keep track of appointments, use your phone as a work device and there are plenty of entertainment options, too. Tap or click here for must-have Android apps you’ll use again and again.

But with all those apps, how can you narrow down the choices to find what you’re looking for? Well, if you’re looking for a new podcast app for your Android phone, we’re here to help. These three apps are the best ways to listen to podcasts on your Android. Here’s why.

(NOTE: Know someone with an iPhone? Tap or click here for the best ways to listen to podcasts on iPhone.)

1. Google Podcasts

If you’re using an Android device, you may want to start by checking out Google Podcasts. This podcast app is native to your phone, and it integrates well with Android and Google services.

Those aren’t the only perks of using this app, though. After its initial launch, Google Podcasts was fully redesigned to be more user friendly, helping it compete with more popular podcast apps like Apple Podcasts or Overcast.

One of the best features is the three-tab interface, which makes it super easy to navigate. Under these three tabs, you’ll see the Home screen, the Explore screen and the Activity screen.

You can use the Home screen to see the shows you subscribe to or scroll through a feed of new episodes. See something you like? You can quickly download, play or queue it up right from the homepage.

The Explore tab, on the other hand, lets you discover new shows and content. You’ll see recommended features and other suggestions based on your listening habits. And, the Activity page will let you view and manage your playback queue. You can see your listening history, download information and subscription info, too.

There are many other useful features, like automatic episode downloads and notifications for new content.

Related: Tap or click for five ways to delete bloatware and preinstalled Android apps.

2. Spotify

As one of the most popular music streaming apps, many people use Spotify to listen to music and curate their own playlists for workouts, drives or other tasks. Spotify offers both free and paid subscriptions, and the good news is if you’re paying for a Spotify Premium subscription, you have a built-in podcast app on your phone.

There are plenty of perks to using Spotify to listen to podcasts. For example, Spotify has put the focus on making podcasts more central in the app. You’ll get access to over a million shows to choose from, and there’s always new content being added. Over 300,000 new shows were added last year alone.

There are other unique features to Spotify, too, including:

  • Recommended and featured podcasts and shows
  • Save the podcasts and shows you like, and new episodes automatically save
  • Download shows to listen offline
  • Access to podcast episodes with feature videos

One particular feature worth noting is the editorial podcast playlists. Spotify uses these playlists to feature the latest and greatest podcast content recommended by Spotify’s editors.

These curated playlists can help you explore new content and find the shows people are listening to right now. It’s a great way to discover new material or podcasters based on your interests.

Spotify also features the Best Podcasts of the Week, a roundup of the week’s top podcast episodes. These lists feature a wide range of podcast genres, from news and comedy to true crime and sports. The new lists roll out each Tuesday.

If you’re already a Spotify user, using this app to listen to podcasts can be an easy fix. You’ll get access to the shows you’re looking for and plenty of ways to dig around to discover new content or podcasters.

Related: 10 best apps to install on your new Android

3. TuneIn Radio

TuneIn Radio isn’t as popular as some other podcast apps, but this one offers a ton of features. There are a couple of different subscription options within this app to tailor it to your preferences.

This app is a little different than the likes of Google Podcasts. Rather than being a dedicated podcast app, it’s a free radio app that lets you listen to all of the talk-based channels and shows you’re looking for. From live sports, music and news to podcasts — TuneIn Radio offers it all.

What makes this app stand out is the podcast options. Because content editors at TuneIn are focused on talk-based shows, they know how to recommend a podcast or six. This app lets you check out the scoop on what’s worth listening to from expert tastemakers or get personalized suggestions based on your interests.

Plus, you can use TuneIn Radio to binge-listen to podcasts from anywhere you want. There’s a free, ad-supported premium option. Or you can get the commercial-free option for about $10 a month. Both give you access to the podcasts you’re looking for.

There’s a ton of podcast content on this app, too. You’ll find everything from chart toppers to newly discovered gems on the list. Looking for popular shows like RadioLab, Stuff You Should Know and TED Radio Hour? TuneIn offers them. You’ll also get access to shows like The Joe Rogan Experience, NPR’s Up First, NYT’s The Daily, WoW in the World and Stuff You Should Know.

There are other perks to this app, too. You can use it on several other devices to pick up where you left off on your phone, including in your car or via your smart speaker. It’s available anywhere you have internet access, making it easy to start a show on one device and finish on another. No more half-listened to podcasts!

Bonus: Catch all the Komando podcasts

Want to learn more about this digital life? Kim explores topics that impact us every day in Tech You Should Know. From scammers to hackers and social media to product reviews, Kim finds top experts to give us their take or explain what Big Tech is doing now.

Pressed for time? In 60 seconds, you’ll know the day’s most burning tech issue or a new trick for your digital life with Kim’s Daily Tech Update. Short and to the point, this podcast keeps you informed without any fanfare.

Finally, we’ve got Tech Refresh, your fun talk show about all things digital — the good, the bad and the uplifting. From what you should buy to the latest crazy internet trends, Allie, Ben and host Mike break it all down. Listen once and you’re hooked — it’s that simple.

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