Best Android podcast manager apps [September 2013]

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If you like to listen to your news more than you like to read it, you might be the type of person that enjoys podcasts. Like with anything else on your Android device, there are several options in the Play Store to manage all of your podcast subscriptions, but some are better than others. With this guide, we’re going to go over some of the top available podcast managers and help you pick out which one(s) might be the best fit for you.

Pocket Casts

Pocket Casts

Pocket Casts is one of the most popular available podcast apps on the Play Store, and with good reason. The app has several extremely useful features, and best of all, the interface is excellent. It’s very clean and intuitive, and offers both a light and dark theme to suit your preferences. On top of that, it offers a dedicated tablet interface that makes use of the extra screen space on larger devices. So right off the bat, if you’re looking for a podcast manager for both your hone and tablet that’s enjoyable to navigate, Pocket Casts gets extra points immediately.

As far as features go, Pocket Casts is one of the most loaded apps on the market. It supports both audio and video podcasts, and even offers the ability to switch between audio/video and audio only mode on the fly. It also features smart playlists for your podcasts, such as making a playlist of only unplayed podcasts that you currently have downloaded onto your device, as well as variable playback speed for podcasts. There’s also quite a bit of background stuff that makes Pocket Casts great, such as a Pocket Casts account that keeps your devices synced up, settings for controlling how many podcasts should be stored before being deleted, and dedicated servers that monitor your podcast feed to speed up refreshing your podcast list.

Pocket Casts runs $3.99 in the Play Store, which is on the higher end for most paid apps, but considering you get a fantastic tablet app plus a lengthy list of useful features, it’s well worth the cost of admission.

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Play Store Download Link

Podcast Addict

Podcast Addict

Podcast Addict is a lighter podcast management app that offers a handful of unique features to keep all of your casts organized in one place. If you already have some podcasts organized somewhere else, Podcast Addict supports OPML file import, which lets you bring in your podcast subscriptions from services like iTunes or the now defunct Google Reader. If you’re just starting from scratch, it also features an easy to use search engine for finding new podcasts. In fact, Podcast Addict boasts it has over 75,000 podcasts in several different languages. No matter how you slice it, that’s an impressive number.

As far as features go, Podcast Addict has enough to stay competitive. It features lightweight theme support for customization addicts, (no pun intended) and support for audio and video podcasts, as well as YouTube channels and news feeds. You can also adjust settings on a podcast-by-podcast basis, allowing you to customize when certain feeds get downloaded and erased, which is handy for managing multiple casts on smaller amounts of storage.

Podcast Addict also has a lockscreen widget for any Android device running 4.0, as well as some widgets for quick pausing and resuming. For a free app, it’s very powerful and useful, although it is ad supported. If the ads bother you, can support the developer with a one-off $2.99 purchase to remove the banner ads.

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Play Store Download Link

Doggcatcher

doggcatcher

Doggcatcher is a podcast app that’s been around for quite some time in the Play Store. It was first introduced in November 2008 and has seen its fair share of updates since release. Because of this, it’s had time to mature and really develop a strong set of core features that make it a great choice for a podcast app. The app features the ability to stream podcasts over WiFi or 3G/4G, or to download a podcast and save it later for offline listening. Plus, the downloading/backing up/cleaning of new and old podcasts is totally automated, so you don’t have to worry yourself with keeping it from eating up too much storage. It also has a great set of filters for finding exactly what you’re interested in without wading through tons of things that don’t interest you.

Doggcatcher also has many of the same features that other podcast apps offer, such as audio/video podcast support, RSS support, and Bluetooth support. It’s also one of the more battery friendly options on this list, as download management can be adjusted depending on your network connection. Also, since Doggcatcher has been around for so long, there’s a very active user community to help you out in case you run into any issues. If you just want something simple and reliable, this is a great option.

Doggcatches comes with a free 7 day trial of the full experience, which can then be upgraded for $2.99. (which is actually significantly cheaper than it used to be) The free trial makes it worth checking out at least once.

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Play Store Download Link

OneCast

onecast

OneCast is a free podcast management app that doesn’t compete with the other apps on this list with features, but instead with simplicity. It doesn’t offer as many core features as the other apps, but it’s also significantly more simple to use. The app essentially gives you a search bar to find podcasts and episodes to listen to, then you queue them up, download them, and listen. There’s no video podcast support, but if all you’re interested in is the audio, this might be the best app for you.

There are a few options, such as picking where your podcasts download to, and some skipping options (you can skip ahead or go backwards 30 seconds at a time), but that’s pretty much it. The interface is very clean, and everything is extremely straightforward to use. If you just want something simple and don’t want to shell out any cash for a podcast app, give OneCast a spin and see if it suits your needs.

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Play Store Download Link

KiesCast

KiesCast

A category of technology isn’t really complete until Samsung steps in and tries their hand at it, and that’s exactly what they’ve done with KiesCast, named after their Kies media management applications. Like with many other Samsung apps, this one’s only available to Samsung devices running a version of TouchWiz (sorry GPE S4 owners) but if you fit that category, you can give this app a spin.

As a podcast management app, KiesCast is fairly simple. It offers a search tab, a tab to manage and view your subscriptions, and a tab for viewing your downloaded podcasts. It supports audio and video podcasts, and the built-in player can handle 10 second, 30 second, and 60 second skips and rewinds. Aside from that, the app doesn’t do too much to stand out on its own, but it also doesn’t throw too many unnecessary features at you, which is odd for Samsung. Jokes aside, it is a solid podcast app, even if it is a little bland.

If you’re the type of person that likes all of your apps to look thematically consistent, and you like the aesthetics of TouchWiz, KiesCast might be a good option for you. The interface is right at home on a Galaxy S 4 looking like a bundled system application, and works the same as other system apps on a Samsung device, whether that’s a Galaxy S 3, S 4, or Note device. In that context, the app fulfills its role extremely well. If you’re looking for something with more features or less TouchWiz-y, one of the other apps on the list may be a better fit for you.

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Play Store Download Link

This is a list of just five of the many podcast apps available on the Play Store. Did we miss any of your personal favorites? Let us know in the comments below.

» See more articles by Jared Peters


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  • rethinkthought

    BeyondPod

  • Ed

    Where’s Beyond Pod????
    Way better than most of what you listed.

    • guy

      Did you at least try the listed apps ?
      I found most of the listed apps way better than Beyondpod (except onecast & kiescast) ;)
      Those apps are improving fast, so feel free to at least try them

    • Misterz

      Beyond Pod’s been real bad for me. It doesn’t seem to care what you instruct it to do in settings. It doesn’t obey.

  • Gabe

    Podkicker is simplistic, but it does a very good job of what it offers.

  • Kirk Sharrar

    Why do none of these articles ever review antennapod?

  • Shabba-Doo

    I love me some Pocket Cast. I’ve been using it since it was the FAOTD on amazon, then they broke relations so I bought it on Play. Best purchase I’ve ever made! and yes I do try others I hear about but none come close to Pocket Cast.

  • http://www.keithferrin.com/ Keith Ferrin

    Which ones have variable speed playback AND are free?

    • bambou51

      Podcast Addict has a variable Playback speed feature. The free version is unlimited and displays a small ad banner at the bottom of the screen

      • http://www.keithferrin.com/ Keith Ferrin

        Thanks. Also looks like KiesCast (if you have a Galaxy) works as well.

    • Christian Dysthe

      AntennaPod. You need to install a plugin but it it works wonderfully.

  • hoha

    there is no kiescast app anywhere?

  • Roderic

    I have used Stitcher for years and never understand why it isn’t top 3 for both iOS and Android. I have used it on iPad, iPhone, and now a Note 3. I don’t want to download anything, I just want to stream it when I want, though it can download if needed.

    • cayce laney

      living in nyc, you have to download if you want to listen on the train. stitcher just doesn’t suit my needs at all, so i’ve never used it.

    • new stitcher user

      The problem with Stitcher is that it handles multiple episode podcasts poorly, especially if you want to download them for offline listening. The listen later feature doesn’t really cut it. The one thing that iTunes does pretty well (except when they broke it a couple of revs back) was podcast subscriptions and handling multiple episodes.

  • Dakiro

    Dogcatcher is working for me – good headset key integration on my old 2.3 phone.

  • MeAndJuliaDownByTheSchoolYard

    Anything remotely associated with samsung kies should have you running and screaming for the hills, IMNSHO. I tried Podcast addict, horrible interface with unintelligible buttons, and always insisted on streaming even after I’d downloaded the podcast. I would have liked to try Pocket Casts but after my experience with Podcast addict I’m not willing to shell out even 5 bucks for something that I haven’t been given, at least, a one day trial.

    • Christian Dysthe

      Podkicker Pro is great but development ha s slowed to a halt. It was my favorite. It’s the lightest fastest player around

  • Mic

    AntenaPod?

    • Christian Dysthe

      AntennaPod is my new favorite. Very simple and open source. A couple of bugs but close to perfect.

  • http://makewebworld.com/ Sanjeev Mohindra

    I have tried almost all of them and ended up settling on Pocket Casts. Syncing across the devices and saving the subscription list to cloud are some of the good features….

  • madprofessor

    I used to like BeyondPod but recently their UI is just aggravating and is as slow as ever.

  • Russ

    In my opinion Pocket Casts just ruined a great app by removing the option for continuous play.

  • WorldClaes

    I use Pocket Casts, just because I’m on Android now, but I really, really miss one thing from iTunes though:
    Is there a player with the option to “Keep X oldest uplayed episodes”?
    In all the players I’ve tried (except iTunes), there is only the option to keep X newest episodes.
    I want to keep the oldest! Help me, please!