Smarter tech Here’s a smartphone that could arguably be a load-shedding-ready phone during these ongoing power outages across South Africa. Huawei South Africa has…
Podcasts have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity recently, with the likes of Serial and other notable shows responsible for the reinvigorated industry.
There are loads of podcast apps out there, especially on Google’s platform, which has only recently implemented native podcast support via Play Music. Which clients are worth downloading though? We’ve got a few you should consider — but do let us know about your favourite apps.
My go-to app, Podcast Republic has recently received a visual overhaul, bringing the design in line with the extensive feature list.
Podcast Republic delivers the expected podcast search functionality (by genre, top charts, search), offline downloads, a car mode, playlist functionality, playback speed and downloads to microSD cards. Not bad at all.
Other features include cross-device synchronisation, the ability to backup and restore app settings and the ability to download podcasts while charging.
Another popular choice on the Play Store, Podcast Addict isn’t a visual feast, but it’s sensibly designed nonetheless.
The app features download functionality (including downloads to microSD card), playback speed adjustments, search by keyword/charts/category, a recommendation engine based on your existing subscriptions (neat), video podcasts and customisable update/download times (such as while you’re sleeping).
Otherwise, audiobook support, Android Wear notifications and podcast-specific settings make it a very capable client.
It used to be my go-to app before the first entry, so what makes Podcast 02 special? Well, aside from the pleasant implementation of Material Design…
The app lets you search by keywords/name, browse categories, manually enter URLs for unsupported podcasts and features sleep timer functionality. A pretty good start, then. Other features include customisable skip settings (so you can skip forward ten minutes for one podcast and two minutes for another), support for headset buttons and offline playback (although I found this to be iffy in older versions).
In any event, Podcast 02 is worth adding to the list of apps you should consider.
It may be a paid app, but Pocket Casts doesn’t have a fantastic 4.6 star rating for nothing.
The app offers a very pleasant Material Design aesthetic, for starters, but its more than just a looker. We’ve also got a variety of features, such as the ability to trim silence, light and dark themes, volume boosting for voices only and the ability to skip podcast intros.
Rounding out the feature-set is Chromecast support, Android Wear integration, downloads and new episode alerts.
This is probably the last pick on the list when it comes to aesthetics, but AntennaPod is still a capable client.
The app allows you to search for podcasts via three major podcast repositories (iTunes, FFYD, GPodder), or you can add a podcast via URL. Otherwise, you’ve got download functionality, playback history, light/dark themes, customisable lockscreen buttons, auto-deletion functionality and Chromecast support.
All in all, AntennaPod isn’t super polished and slick, but it’s got a lot going for it nonetheless.
TuneIn initially made its name as a platform for traditional radio stations, but it’s come a long way since then.
There’s the ability to search for and listen to podcasts (of course), offline downloads, car mode, Chromecast support, Android Wear integration and adjustable buffer time (e.g. 10 or 20 seconds of buffering before playback starts). And that’s aside from the fact that loads of radio stations around the world use TuneIn to live-stream their broadcasts.
Splash out on a premium subscription and you get access to 80 000 audiobooks, live NBA/MLB/NFL audio and no display ads. This is optional, so don’t feel compelled to sign up when you first start the app.