The native Podcasts app on the iPhone, while completely functional, leaves a lot to be desired for some users. It does not offer the most intuitive user interface and the layout just seems a bit confused, but the real deal breaker is the woefully underdeveloped playlist system - you can't even view your playlist! If it works for you, by all means stick with it, but if it grates on your nerves a bit, there are plenty of other third-party options out there. Here are five to check out that might suit your tastes better than Apple's Podcasts:
The Podcast App
Aptly named, The Podcast App is designed with simplicity in mind. The app is easy to use and great for people new to podcasts - when you first open it you pick your interests and it will recommend podcasts for you. Creating playlists is a breeze compared to Podcasts. With access to over 500,000 podcasts, this app is one of the most popular of its category in the App Store, scoring a 4.8/5 with close to 90K rankings. It is free to download and you can get rid of visual ads with a $9.99/year upgrade.Podbean
Podbean also boasts a 4.8/5 ranking and has everything you would want in a podcast manager. What really stands out is how easy it is to discover new podcasts - you can search by category, top 100, station and you also have access to audiobooks. Podbean also lets you record your own podcasts if that's your interest. Curating playlists is simple and there are plenty of settings, including night mode, that you can tweak to your preference.
Newest iPhone FAQs
Overcast is not only popular with a 4.7/5 rating, but it also won the Editor's Choice award. In addition to having a simple, intuitive layout, it also offers loads of settings that allow you to fine tune it to your tastes - light and dark themes, control over how many seconds the skip buttons go, One-Tap play, which allows you to play an episode with a single tap, instead of expanding it, then tapping play. It also has a "Smart Playlist" function that lets you easily create playlists that give priority to certain podcasts over others. Overcast is free and has a $9.99 upgrade to get rid of ads.
Castro is another sleek, intuitive podcast manager. It has all of the essentials, plus extras like dark mode and chapter support that can be added for a $2.99/month or $18.99/year subscription. One feature that stands out is how easy it is to queue a playlist - you can download podcasts directly into a playlist, either at the top or bottom, and when you are finished you can look at the playlist and drag episodes into the order you desire.
Spotify is on the list simply because it is easily the most popular app on it, and many Spotify users may not even be aware that it is also a podcast manager. It may not have all the bells and whistles of the other ones, but if you use Spotify and are looking for an alternative to Podcasts, you might as well check it out.
Just about every podcast app is going to have the essential features you want like playlists and intuitive search features, so it is really about how it looks to you and how easy it is to navigate around it, find the podcasts you're looking for and curate your playlists. Check out the ones listed here and if none catch your eye there are many other worthwhile apps - just go to the App Store and search "podcast player."