I’ve been using Pocket Casts to listen to podcasts for over 4 years now. I’ve tried a few other apps during that period but none of them offered the simplicity that Pocket Casts does.
Other apps I’ve tried
- Apple podcasts
- Google podcasts
Why Pocket Casts is the best app to listen to podcasts
Simplicity (The Grid Layout)
The grid layout of podcast covers displayed on the app makes it easy to browse and click on the podcast you want to listen to. The grid is like a home page, it’s the first thing that’s displayed when you open the app.
It takes two steps to listen to a podcast of your choice:
- Click on the podcast
- Click on the episode you want to play
No other app I’ve tried offered this layout as the first thing you want to see. There’s a similar layout when you click on library and then shows in Apple Podcasts but it’s not useful when you need to take a couple of extra steps to view all the podcasts you subscribed to.
Some new apps are offering new features like snipping and saving clips from the podcast when you are listening to it (Snipd has this feature). As cool as those features are, those apps don’t offer the same comfort that Pocket Casts does. When you are in commute or taking a walk or cooking something in the kitchen and you want to play something in the background, Pocket Casts makes it a simple choice to click and play whatever you want.
This is the reason I stuck with Pocket Casts. In the last 5 years, Podcasts have become a huge industry and that led to an explosion of content. With many shows to subscribe to, it should be a simple experience to later browse and listen to them. This is something that a lot of new apps are missing. Spotify in particular makes it hard to find and listen to podcasts. The app gives a cluttered experience with Music & Podcasts in the same tab, separating that could make it easier to use (which I think they will be doing soon: Spotify is reorganizing its app to better separate podcasts and music)
Five years back, I paid for this app but since then Pocket Casts released a free version that has most of the features you need and a plus version at $0.99 per month which gives you access to the web app, desktop apps, and also 10GB of cloud storage for storing and listening to any other audio content. You can read more about it here.
Pocket Casts is available on almost all platforms: Android, Web, iPad, iPhone, Windows, and macOS. Although you need to subscribe to the plus version to use web and desktop apps. Pocket Casts is one of the very few podcast apps that offer cross-platform apps to listen to podcasts. And you don’t have to go through any complex setup, if you subscribed to a podcast on one platform it’ll be synced across all.
Searching and finding podcasts could be a bit slow sometimes. You can find all the podcasts wherever they were published on Pocket Casts. I never had any issue not finding the podcast I’m looking for but the search could sometimes take time, just a few seconds to display the results.
As much as I love the simplicity offered by the app, I would love it even more if there is a feature to highlight or snip podcast episodes.
Some podcasts I listen to
- Land of the Giants
- New Economics Podcast
- Digital Marketing Podcast
- The Brainy Business
- Lex Fridman Podcast
- The Vergecast
- 99% Invisible
- Making Sense