Some notable paid iOS podcast apps

We should support developers who work hard to create great iOS apps, and every now and then we should try to avoid encouraging the race to the bottom in app pricing by taking into consideration paid apps instead of free alternatives.

I’ve quickly assembled a list of a few podcast apps that are considered the best in their category. The apps I chose to include are recommended by reviews and user comments you can easily find on the Web. This list is just a starting point and certainly doesn’t pretend to be exhaustive. It’s meant to be used as a quick overview for those who aren’t satisfied by the built-in iOS Podcasts app and want to look for good-quality alternatives that provide more features and flexibility. The ‘Features worth mentioning’ bit is simply a selected subset of those features I consider somewhat unique to the app in question, but bear in mind that there’s a lot of feature overlapping among these apps anyway. The ‘Features worth mentioning’ are taken directly from the App Store description.

If you think I’ve made some glaring omission, feel free to contact me and let me know. (Remember though, it has to be a paid app.)

Downcast

WebsiteApp Store linkMac App Store link

iOS app (universal) is $2.99. It also offers an Apple Watch App.

Features worth mentioning:

  • Browse and download older podcast episodes
  • Settings for auto-download and episode retention
  • Import and export podcast feeds via OPML
  • Import supported audio/video media files
  • Create and edit “smart” playlists
  • iCloud Syncing with other iOS devices or Macs (Requires Downcast for Mac)
    • Podcast subscriptions, Playlists, Settings, Episode information
  • Playback control from external devices
    • Bluetooth devices, Headphone remote controls, Devices connected via Lightning/dock connector
  • Google Cast™ Ready

Requires iOS 7.1 or later

Downcast for OS X is $7.99, and requires OS X 10.10 or later and a 64-bit processor.

Pocket Casts

WebsiteApp Store linkWeb Player

Available for iPhone & iPad, Android, Windows Phone, and also has a Web player.

iOS app (universal) is $3.99

Features worth mentioning:

  • Cross Platform Syncing: Sync your subscriptions, playback and filters between iOS and other mobile devices as well as Pocket Casts Web.
  • Storage: Set how many episodes of a podcast you want to keep. We’ll clean up the rest. News mode added for the contemporaries among us.
  • Filters: Want a list of every unplayed episode? Right here. How about sorting your episodes by custom categories? Done.
  • AirPlay & Chromecast: Cast your episodes straight to your TV with a single tap.

Requires iOS 8.0 or later.

On the website you’ll find direct links to Pocket Casts for Android and Windows Phone.

iCatcher

WebsiteApp Store link

iOS app (universal) is $2.99. It also offers an Apple Watch App.

Features worth mentioning: the staggering amount of features and customisation options the app offers is a feature in itself. Seriously, read the full App Store description.

Requires iOS 6 or later. (Nice if you want to use an old device, like an iPhone 3GS, as podcast player.)

Castro

WebsiteApp Store link

iOS app is $3.99 [Update, November 2015: Now the app is free with patronage options.]

Features worth mentioning:

  • Sleep timer for listening in bed. Still awake when the episode pauses? Just tap play again on the lock screen or headphone remote to extend the sleep timer.
  • Intelligent storage management — you set the size limit and Castro will delete old episodes as necessary to keep within it.
  • Supports streaming and offline playback.
  • Ability to play episodes without subscribing to the podcast.

Requires iOS 7.1 or later.

Pod Wrangler

WebsiteApp Store Link

Technically, the iOS app is free, but offers a $1.99 In-app purchase. It also offers an Apple Watch App.

From the App Store description: Feed Wrangler subscribers get automatic access to the full feature-set of Pod Wrangler. The app comes standard with ability to subscribe to up to 5 shows. A simple in-app purchase unlocks unlimited subscriptions, removes ads and enables push notifications.

Requires iOS 8.0 or later.

RSSRadio Premium

WebsiteApp Store link

iOS app (universal) is $3.99. It also offers an Apple Watch App.

Features worth mentioning:

  • Silence removal for downloaded audio podcasts, saves hours per week for the average listener
  • Clearer audio with equaliser, compressor / limiter and volume boosting DSP effects (on video, streaming and downloads)
  • Keep multiple devices in Sync with iCloud or Dropbox
  • Fully supports password protected podcasts, including 1Password support

Requires iOS 7.1 or later.

PodCruncher

WebsiteApp Store link

iOS app is $2.99.

Features worth mentioning:

  • Continuous playback, edit Up Next on the fly
  • Gestures for play/stop, fwd/back, next/previous
  • Adjustable skip intervals for fwd/back buttons
  • Control remotely while driving or exercising
  • AirPlay support, Bluetooth audio and controls

Requires iOS 7.0 or later.

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About Riccardo Mori

Writer. Translator. Mac consultant. Enthusiast photographer. • If you like what I write, please consider supporting my writing by purchasing my short stories, Minigrooves or by making a donation. Thank you!