5 iPhone podcast apps to improve your listening experience.
With the iOS 5 update changing the iPhone’s audio player to one that is designed specifically for music, many users have been left looking for more podcast-friendly options. We’ve already discussed alternatives to iTunes for desktop and mobile, and now we’re exploring a list of alternative iPhone podcast apps.
Instacast – $1.99
The Instacast app is designed specifically for watching audio and video podcasts on your iPhone or iPad. Using the app, you can search for and subscribe to shows, then stream or download episodes wirelessly or over 3G/EDGE networks. Once you’ve downloaded an episode, you can listen to it even when you’re offline. Instacast provides show notes for each episode, including links, and you can customize your playback experience to include 2x playback, and bi-directional skipping. Audio podcasts play in the background while you are using other apps, and Instacast notifies you whenever new shows are available.
Podcaster – $1.99
While Instacast specializes in creating a simple user interface, Podcaster is designed with the listener in mind. Its features include variable-speed playback, chapters, gestures, and the ability to skip commercials. Unlike other apps, Podcaster doesn’t limit the size of podcast you can download over 3G, and its smart downloading system automatically restarts downloading any half-completed podcasts as soon as you have a signal again. In addition to displaying show notes, the app’s “host view” enables you to view extra information about the podcast’s host, including their website and social media accounts.
Audiobook & Podcast Player – $2.99
The iPhone’s built-in music app is notoriously audiobook unfriendly. If you enjoy listening to longer podcasts or audiobooks, the Audiobook & Podcast Player app might help. Its features are designed with the book-loving listener in mind, and include easy custom navigation, and automatically remembering where you left off. What sets this apart from other similar apps is the sleep timer, which will pause the player after a certain amount of time, and the ‘time travel’ feature, which allows you to go back to whatever it was you were listening to at a specific moment in the past. Audiobook & Podcast Player is free to download and try for the first two days, after which it costs $2.99.
iCatcher! – $1.99
iCatcher! is another podcast app that offers a different package of features to its competitors. Using iCatcher!, you can create custom podcast playlists, and filter downloaded podcasts using keywords. The app also allows you to unsubscribe from a podcast but keep downloaded episodes on your phone. Other playback features include variable speed, the ability to download password-protected feeds, and a sleep timer.
Pocket Casts – $1.99
The Pocket Casts app is packed with features and tools that simplify your podcast listening experience. The app’s servers monitor your subscribed feeds and automatically download new episodes, so you don’t have to manually refresh. As well as the usual variable speed and skip features, you can create playlists, share your favorite podcasts with others, and stream or download podcasts of any size, and listen video podcasts as audio only.