These days, many of us prefer to listen to podcasts or other streaming media at the time and place of our choosing instead of being locked into an arbitrary broadcast schedule, and luckily, there are thousands upon thousands of amazing podcasts available on-demand. Below are a few of our favorite podcast apps for Android that allow you to quickly access The Daily and NPR’s robust lineup wherever you might roam.
For more information about podcasts — and what’s out there for listening and learning — check out our full guide to podcasts, which includes even more recommendations for podcast apps on both iOS and Android.
Pocket Casts — free, redesigned, and now owned by NPR and other public radio broadcasters — is one of the most popular podcast apps on Android, and it sets itself apart with a modern interface that looks and functions superlatively. Its clean, intuitive navigation and discover page offer featured shows, curated lists, and top charts to aid your discovery of new podcasts. Listening options include trimming silent periods in podcasts, switching between audio and video, and a host of other features. You can sign in with any Android device, and the app syncs podcast progress to your multiple devices, but you’ll need to pay a monthly subscription to get the most out of it.
Google Podcasts features a sleek design that’s similar to most podcast apps while still adhering to Google’s style. It offers popular and trending shows in news, history, music, business, education, health, fitness, technology, the arts, science, sports, and more — subscribe and listen to for free. It’s integrated with Google Assistant and Google Home, so you can use voice commands to play, pause, and resume podcasts, and your podcast listening gets synced across all your different Google devices. Go ahead and customize playback speeds or skip over silences, queue up episodes, and keep track of your downloads and subscriptions.
RadioPublic, a public benefit corporation, provides free access to millions of podcasts as well as live radio, audiobooks, YouTube channels, RSS feeds, and more to either download or stream. Choose content from networks like Gimlet, Radiotopia, BBC, Earwolf, Maximum Fun, HowStuffWorks, Stitcher, and the CBC or from news sources like The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and USA Today. Podcast Librarians highlight award-winning podcasts from NPR, WNYC, and PRX and dig to find small indie podcasts. Audio effects such as playback speed, skip silence, volume boost, and mono are customizable by podcast. Use your Google Drive account to have data automatically saved to the cloud, and listen in your car or cast to any Chromecast device nearby.
If you crave variety, Castbox is your jam. This easy-to-use podcast player features a clean layout and easy navigation while offering access to over 95 million podcasts, audiobooks, and FM radio stations around the world. Discover popular podcasts on a wide variety of topics that you can stream or download on news, politics, music, games, hobbies, sports, technology, talk shows, business, and more. You can also import your favorite podcasts from Google podcast, Overcast, iHeartradio, Pocket Casts, Podbean, Podcast Addict, Spotify, Stitcher, the Podcast app, Tunein, and the Apple podcast app.
Podcast Addict has a deep feature set that supports Sonos speakers and Chromecast, as well as video podcasts and internet radio stations. You can browse podcast networks like NPR, Gimlet, BBC, Serial, and Ted Talks, use the search engine of your choice, or get custom recommendations based on your subscriptions. Built-in audio effects include playback speed variations, volume boost, skip silence, and mono playback. It works while streaming or playing downloaded files and provides for automatic update and download, so you can set a specific time for your favorite podcasts to be downloaded. The service supports automatic cloud backup for the app and your subscriptions.
At its simplest, SoundCloud is a massive music and audio streaming platform hosting some 200 million tracks with a worldwide community of millions and the ability to easily discover even the most obscure of new, emerging, and unique podcasts. Use the app to discover DJ sets, hand-curated playlists, remixes, and freestyles alongside mainstream releases. You can also use the app to connect directly with other fans and favorite artists in real time to support and fuel their success. Premium subscription SoundCloud Go ($6 per month) lets you save an unlimited number of tracks to listen to offline and ad-free, while the SoundCloud Go+ ($10 per month) offers that plus high-quality audio.
Spotify, the popular music streaming service, has a beautiful interface that is simple to learn and use. With Spotify, you can listen to music and play millions of songs and podcasts from around the globe. Spotify gives you access to free music, curated playlists, artists, and the ability to listen to podcasts via mobile, tablet, desktop, PlayStation, Chromecast, TV, and speakers. You can discover new music, podcasts, and top songs, or listen to favorite artists and albums. Create your own music playlists with the latest songs; explore the app’s curated playlists, songs, and albums; or get customized audio recommendations. Spotify Premium lets you listen without ads and download to listen to music offline.