We here at Komando are very proud of our many podcasts, covering technology from a variety of angles. If you're new to podcasts, you may wonder what they are, where you find them, and how you listen to them. Do you need special tools? Do you need special programs or apps?
To keep up to date with us, as well as your other favorite podcasts, you need a great podcast app that’ll never let you miss an episode, and we’ve found five apps that do just that—and more!
What makes a good podcast app?
A really good podcast app has great playback options, as well as automatic downloads of episodes for podcasts you subscribe to. But of course, what you personally want in a podcast app is subjective, so we did our best to find five apps that are all reliable, but somewhat different from one another so you can find a favorite.
Take a look at our five favorite apps, all available on iOS and Android devices, to see which one works best for you and your listening style. Then, as you’re subscribing to your favorite podcasts, make sure you get all of the ones we make here at Komando to stay up to date on all things tech, and tech news. Here's a full list of our podcasts:
- Komando On Demand
- Komando Tech News This Week
- Consumer Tech Update
- Tech News Today
- CyberLaw Now
- Starting Line
- History and Technology
- The Golden Age of Radio
These podcasts can be found in the apps below, and you can check out the most recent Komando On Demand podcast episode. Now, onto the apps!
1. Pocket Casts
We’re kicking off our list with Pocket Casts, a podcast app that recently had a well-received redesign that added a few features. You can listen to any podcast episode at any time, without subscribing, and search for episode guests and topics. The app offers video podcast support, as well as quick skip buttons for fast-forwarding and rewinding, which you can customize to skip whatever number of seconds you want. With access to a web-based platform coming with the app, you can start an episode on one device, like your phone, and finish it on another, like your work computer, without ever losing your spot.
Image from PocketCasts.com
With auto-episode downloading, categorizing features that you control, and a well-developed algorithm to help you find new podcasts based on what you already listen to, Pocket Casts is a pretty killer app that looks great. It’s main downside is it costs $3.99 on iOS and Android, and $9 as an app on your computer (although you get a 14-day free trial). If you don’t mind spending a little to get great content, it’s an app worth buying. You can get Pocket Casts for iOS and Pocket Casts for Android, and for your computer here. If you’d prefer to get a free app, keep heading down the list.
Stitcher differentiates itself from other podcast apps by letting you make playlists of podcasts, and playlists of podcast episodes from different shows. Want to have all of the podcasts you love that upload on Friday (like Komando Tech News This Week) in one easy-to-listen-to list? Make a Friday playlist, and you’ll have new episodes right there once they’re out. Want to hear your favorite actor on a bunch of podcasts in a row? That can be a playlist, made from specific episodes. Listen offline to your playlists and episodes without streaming, and the Stitcher app is available for Alexa devices, as well as OS, Android, and web app devices. You can get the Stitcher app for your car, and it’s always free!
Stitcher, like many of these apps, suggests podcasts you might like based on your listening history, so you can find new shows, in addition to curating how you listen to ones you already like, but the app works best if you have a regular podcast-listening schedule. There is also a feature built into Stitcher that sends you breaking news stories in the form of audio clips, which you might find hit or miss. It’s great for staying on top of current events, but if you can’t regularly listen to them, they might just be annoying or disruptive.
If you want ad-free listening and access to exclusive Stitcher content, you can subscribe to Stitcher Premium. Download Stitcher for iOS and Stitcher for Android, the web app here, and learn about Alexa access and getting the app for your car here.
That’s right, Spotify has more than just music—it has just about every major podcast, including everything produced by Komando. Podcasts play much like songs, with some advertisements if you use the free app beyond ones built into podcast episodes, and without additional advertisements if you have Spotify Premium. Organized into categories, podcasts are fun to explore on Spotify. Much like the music, the more you listen, the more Spotify can curate to your interests. It’s easy to subscribe to podcasts and access new episodes, and you can listen offline by saving episodes the way you would save songs.
Image from newsroom.spotify.com
Spotify’s podcast playback options are limited. You can’t easily skip through parts of episodes, nor can you easily rewind. There’s also the possibility that some of your favorite podcasts haven’t made it onto Spotify, since podcasts are a later addition to the service. That’s easy enough to correct, though; most podcasts just have to complete a simple form, and they can have Spotify hosting.
For the freest of the free podcast apps, you can’t do much better than Castbox. With over 95 million volumes of audio content, thanks in part because the app can download podcasts from iTunes and make them accessible on non-Apple devices, Castbox is free to download, and free to listen. A few in-app purchases exist, but are optional.
The app supports 70 languages, and has an in-audio search feature, meaning you can search for podcasts and episodes by words said, not just words in the titles and descriptions. It’s not a perfect search system, and it’s always being developed, but it’s the only podcast app that we know of that boasts this feature. With cloud syncing allowing you to listen on multiple devices seamlessly, including Alexa, vehicles with CarPlay or Android Auto, and Apple Watch, Castbox is a new podcast app, but a pretty great one. Playback isn’t mind-blowing or new, but it’s solid, so to enjoy the unique search functions and large library of this app. Get Castbox for iOS, Castbox for Android, and check out the web app here. For other devices, check out the page here.
5. TuneIn Radio
Last, but not least, we reach a podcast app that also offers some live listening options. TuneIn Radio is a free-to-download internet radio app, where you can listen to your favorite podcasts. Go from great talk radio to a podcast, then to an audio book and to your favorite AM or FM radio stations. With TuneIn Radio’s premium package, you can get live sports radio on the app, and no ads on many stations, on top of other features. If you can stream often, this app might give you the most variety and things to listen to out of everything on this list. Because you can listen on your phone, computer, and Alexa and car devices, there’s a good chance of that happening. And if you like radio, you really can’t find a better overlap of interests.
TuneIn Radio’s main downside is the app doesn’t scrub podcast hosts for shows. Podcasts must ask to be on the app, so the podcast library is relatively small. Sure, you can find Komando on there, but overall it might not be enough content to justify using TuneIn Radio as just a podcast app. For the live radio portion though, and the audio book accessibility, it might be just perfect for listeners who like a lot of audio media. To enjoy a variety of listening options, you can get TuneIn Radio for iOS here, Android here, and check out the web app here. For other devices, look here.
Or just press play
To listen to any of our Komando podcasts, you don't need a special application. Any time you see a prompt like the one below, press play and listen from whatever device you're on. Go ahead, give it a try: You might like this Komando on Demand podcast about the best apps to manage your TV binge-watching.
How to get a podcast player set up on Android
While iOS users have Apple's handy Podcasts app at the ready, Android users need to seek out an app of their own. Fortunately, there are a lot of options available through the Google Play Store.