The 10 Best Podcast Apps For iPhone Users

A roundup of the best ways to listen to your favorite podcast

Podcasts are a great source of information that can entertain us, make us smarter and feed our curiosity. Whether you're listening during your morning commute, during a long run, or to coach you as you cook in the kitchen, podcasts cover topics that can peak anyone's sense of wonder and interest. With a growing list of diverse podcast subscriptions available, it's easy to get hooked, and Podcasts can quickly take over your iPhone's storage.

If you're growing tired of managing and syncing your favorite podcasts by downloading them one-by-one on your iPhone, you might be ready to try a podcasting app. Some of the best Apple podcast apps for iOS do more than just play your podcasts but can help you organize and sort your playlists. Some help you manage your subscriptions and make the playback experience more efficient so that you won't miss a word of what is being said. Choosing the best podcast app will depend upon your listening style and goals. To help you decide which podcast app to choose, here's an overview of some of the best features available from the iPhone podcast apps.  

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Castro: Tame Your Podcast List

Screenshot of iPhone of Castro Podcast app with Education tab open
Castro lets you triage podcasts quickly.

Castro by Supertop puts all of your podcasts into an inbox so you can triage what you want to hear now or later (or maybe not at all).

In addition to trim silence, Castro also includes chapter support and a way to customize settings for each individual podcast.

What We Like
The archive feature keeps track of the date you listened, and how much of the podcast you heard.

What We Don't Like
iPhone only. If you sometimes listen on an iPad, you'll have to look elsewhere.

Price: Free, Premium is $2.99 per quarter or $8.99 per year

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Overcast: For the Curious Listener

Screenshot of Overcast Podcast Player for iPhone
Overcast Podcast for iPhone.

Overcast from Overcast Radio, LLC  is designed for the curious listener who wants to discover more podcasts. In addition to helping you manage playlist for the podcasts you already love, Overcast will help you discover new ones. Overcast also includes Smart Speed to cut through silent spots, and Voice Boost gives a consistent sound quality so that you can hear quieter voices.

What We Like
Smart filters make it easy to organize your favorite episodes and customize playlists by categories and around your listening needs. For example, creating a list to listen to while driving, and another one while you're on the treadmill at the gym.

What We Don't Like
The search feature within the app is difficult to use. To find a specific podcast, you may have to copy the URL and paste it into Overcast to find what you're looking for.

Price: Free, Premium is a $9.99 per year subscription. 

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Pocket Casts: Trim Your Time

Screenshot of Pocket Cast for iPhone Podcast player
Pocket Cast for iPhone.

With its unique tiled design, Pocket Casts is designed for the podcast listener who wants to maximize their time. Designed by ShiftyJelly PTY LTD, Pocket Casts includes a trim silence feature that cuts out silent breaks in the episode so that you can get through your playlist faster.  Variable speeds let you adjust the playback speed from .5 to 3x. Volume boost eliminates the background noise while enhancing the sound of voices.

What We Like
Clean, simple, intuitive interface, with a desktop version that lets you listen on your iPhone, iPad, desktop or laptop

What We Don't Like
To listen to an episode, you must subscribe to a podcast.

Price: $5.99

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Downcast: Just the Basics for Audio and Video

Screenshot of iPhone podcast player app Downcast
See a list of your iPhone podcast subscriptions in Downcast.

Downcast by Jamawkinaw Enterprises LLC is a no-frills old-school podcast player that provides powerful organization and customizing tools. In addition to supporting both audio and video podcasts, Downcast lets you decide which episodes to stream, and which to download, and includes play-back customization features such as starting the episode mid-stream to avoid ads.

What We Like
Downcast has an iPad and Mac version so that you can sync all of your playlists and settings across the iCloud.

What We Don't Like
Difficult to read screens because of the small text.

Price: $2.99

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Stitch: Stitch Together Your Own Playlist

Screenshot of iphone podcast app player, Stitcher
Sort your favorites to create a custom podcast playlist with Stitcher.

Like the name suggests, Stitcher gives you the ability to stitch your favorite podcasts together to create a custom playlist. With a personalized front page that notifies you of new podcasts as soon as they are available. Stitcher uses your listening history to suggest other shows you may find interesting.

What We Like
Creates a totally unique podcast experience with continuous updates with a newsroom feel.  

What We Don't Like
Finding favorite podcasts in the archive is difficult, and requires hitting the back button to find specific podcasts.

Price: Free, ad-free version is $4.99 a month, or $34.99 per year

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iCatcher: Plenty of Tweaks and Bells & Whistles

Screenshot of playing screen of iCatcher podcast player for iPhone
Adjust playback speed with iCatcher.

iCatcher by Joeisaner has plenty of features to allow you to build custom playlists, that suits both casual and power listeners. With automatic refreshes, you'll always have the latest episode available. Also has the ability to support video and mp3 files, and syncs subscriptions and playback positions between devices through iCloud. 

What We Like
Includes VoiceOver support, and controls to let you jump ahead or back. 

What We Don't Like
The sort feature only sorts from oldest to newest, leading to a lengthy scroll to find what you're looking for

Price: $2.99

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Castbox: Discover the Latest in the Spoken Word

Screenshot of Castbox iPhone podcast player discover screen
Find new podcasts with Castbox's in-audio search feature.

With a clean, intuitive interface, Castbox, by Guru Network Limited, offers an efficient way to organize your podcasts. An in-audio search function uses keywords and phrases within audio files to help you discover more podcasts based on your likes.

What We Like
Is Car-Play and Amazon Echo compatible.

What We Don't Like
There is no way to mark episodes as played or to set the play order. 

Price: Free, Castbox Premium is $0.99 per month

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Pod Wrangler: Simplify Your Podcast List

Screenshot of iPhone podcast player app Pod Wrangler
A streamlined list of podcasts with Pod Wrangler.

Pod Wrangler by Developing Perspective, LLC can simplify your podcast listening experience. Once you have loaded your list of favorites, Pod Wrangler will automatically sync the downloads to ensure your shows are ready whenever you are. Once your finished listening, Pod Wrangler moves the episode off your phone. 

What We Like
Without extra bells and whistles, there is minimal tweaking required so that you can get started listening right away. 

What We Don't  Like
No smart playlist or smart folders to sort your podcasts. 

Price: Free, Premium is $1.99

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Breaker: For Those Who Think They're Missing Out On Something

Screenshot of iPhone podcast player app Breaker, showing social comments
Share comments about your favorite podcasts with Breaker.

If you're driven by social media, you'll definitely want to try the Breaker podcast player app, which lets you follow your friends and see what they're listening to. Created by Breaker Inc., Breaker lets you add comments to episodes, share your listening history, and offers the ability to send messages and makes suggestions to your Breaker social network.  

What We Like
Finding interesting topics and episodes from friends. 

What We Don't  Like
Getting followed by people you barely know, who also offer recommendations. 

Price: Free

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Spoke: Curated Listening

Screenshot of iPhone app, Spoke showing staff picks of popular podcasts
Spoke takes the guesswork out of finding a podcast.

Confused about which podcast to listen to? Overwhelmed by so many choices? Simply tell Spoke what you're interested in, and you'll receive a personalized list of podcasts and customized playlists. Created by SIRIUS XM Radio Inc., Spoke uses thematic playlists to create curated paths that are handpicked by a team of podcast experts

What We Like
Takes the guesswork and searching out of what to listen to next. 

What We Don't  Like
Lacks playback features, such as bookmarking and fast forwarding. 

Price: Free