Podcasts are exploding in popularity, and it’s not hard to see why. They’re a fun way to gobble down the content you love, and they don’t require too much attention. While you fold laundry, do the dishes or drive to work, you can listen to engaging audio stories that uplift, educate and inspire you.
Are you new to podcasts and unsure where to start? No worries — we’ve got a guide on everything you need to know. Tap or click here to get started listening to podcasts.
While podcasts are a great way to consume content based on your interests, it can be tricky to find the perfect platform for your needs. If you’re an iPhone or Android user looking for the best podcast app, you’re in luck. Here are several apps that let you listen to your favorite shows about crime, news, tech or more straight from your smartphone.
Why should you listen to podcasts?
First of all, podcasts are a great resource for personal enrichment. They’re similar to talk radio with a few big differences.
Radio shows mostly focus on a broader audience, so they have a wide range of topics designed to appeal to as many people as possible. In contrast, podcasts hone in on specific niches, like true crime, comedy or food. According to Oberlo data, there are currently 850,000 active podcasts and over 30 million podcast episodes.
Plus, you can tune in to podcasts at any time — they’re on-demand. If you don’t listen to a traditional show while it’s airing, it’s gone in a poof, but podcasts are forever. That gives you a lot more freedom to consume the content in your own time.
Podcasts cover everything from personal finance and news to horror movies, fashion tips, dating resources, animal welfare and more. If you can dream something up, you can probably listen to a podcast episode about it.
Plus, they’re a great way to turn boring chores into a fun learning opportunity. Instead of cleaning the bathroom normally, now you can pop on some headphones and listen to experts share exciting stories. Or you can hear comedians tell jokes about aliens, reality TV or current news.
When you’re completing tasks that don’t require a ton of brainpower, podcasts infuse a lot of fun and flavor into your day. If you want to join the millions of Americans who listen to podcasts at least once a month, we’ve got some great resources down below.
Here are your options
You’ve got a ton of different platforms to choose from. You’ve got popular hits like Spotify to cheaper alternatives like Pocket Casts. While Apple has a built-in podcast app, Android doesn’t, but you have several services to choose from:
- Spotify – Android, iOS Free to download. $9.99 per month to go ad-free and get unlimited skips.
- Google Podcasts – Android Free to download and use.
- TuneIn – Android, iOS Free to download and use.
- Stitcher – Android, iOS Free to download. $4.99 per month or $35 annually to go ad-free and access premium content.
- Overcast – iOS Free to download. $10 per year without ads.
- Pocket Casts – Android, iOS Free to download, it costs 99 cents per month or $9.99 per year for an ad-free experience and customization options.
- Pandora – Android, iOS Free to download, it costs $9.99 per month for unlimited offline listening and the ability to make and share playlists.
Now, let’s look at two of these options in more depth. Depending on your smartphone, you may enjoy certain apps more than others.
If you have an iPhone, Apple Podcasts makes a lot of sense
Not only is Apple Podcasts native to your iPhone, but it’s got great credentials. After all, it’s the world’s largest platform for podcast discovery and listening. That means it’s the obvious choice for downloading and listening to podcasts on your smartphone.
Scroll through it, and you’ll find over a million different shows to choose from — including Kim’s podcasts: Kim Komando Explains, Tech Refresh and Daily Tech Update. Apple Podcasts also hosts everything from true crime shows like My Favorite Murder to comedy, improv, beauty, history shows and everything in between.
Best of all, it’s extremely diverse. Offered in 175 countries and regions, Apple Podcasts has high-quality content in over 100 languages. Oh, and you don’t have to worry about setting up a new account: Use your Apple ID to access the content in a snap.
It even lets you tweak the playback audio at 1.5x or 2x, so if you’re listening to a slow speaker, you can speed them up. Now you can or fast forward through ads or dead show time.
Want more customization options? Create your own stations in the app’s built-in library, which lets you group your favorite podcasts by subject matter or genre. You can even group them by specific tags — it’s all about giving yourself the smoothest, most personalized listening experience possible.
LOOKING FOR A BACKUP OPTION? Here are more great ways to listen to podcasts on your iPhone
For Android users, Google Podcasts is a great option
If you’re using an Android device, a great place to start is Google Podcasts. Since it’s native to your phone, it smoothly integrates with both Android and Google services. Plus, it comes with a ton of perks.
First, it has a user-friendly design, including its easy-to-navigate three-tab interface. These three tabs cover the Home screen, the Explore screen and the Activity screen.
While you’re browsing through the Home screen, you can see every show you’re subscribed to. That includes brand new episodes, which you can download and play in a snap. Plus, the Explore tab reveals exciting new shows and content.
Google analyzes your listening habits to recommended new podcasts you’re sure to like. Lastly, the Activity page reveals your listening history, download information and subscription data. This app also comes with many other useful features, like notifications and automatic episode downloads.
WANT TO TRY SOMETHING ELSE? Here are the best ways to listen to podcasts on your Android