Apple’s Podcast app has been a staple on iOS since the early days of the iPhone. But recently, Apple pushed out a new update for their podcast app.
Many users, like myself, were not happy about the new changes. Apple redesigned the entire app, and tons of users reported losing episodes they had previously saved.
Apple claims the update was an improvement, and us faithful podcast users disagree entirely. The new and “improved” version of the podcast app is not as user-friendly as it once was.
But luckily, there are many different podcasts apps (with great Apple Watch apps) available on the App Store. Keep on reading to learn more about our recommendations.
- How to listen to music offline on your Apple Watch without your iPhone
- 11 Best Apple Watch apps for Students in 2021
- How to download and listen to Pandora offline on your Apple Watch
1. Pocket Casts
Pocket Casts is a great podcast app to use! Their design is user-friendly and easily manageable. You can even customize the design with themes like light and dark modes.
From the standard speed change to trim silence features, Pocket Casts has every feature a podcast listener wants and needs, plus more! You can even use custom filters to organize your episodes.
You can download or stream episodes, whatever your preference is! If you’re a fan of visual podcasts, you can also access audio and video podcasts right in the app.
There is an iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch app available for Pocket Casts. And you can even sync your playback queue across your devices!
Pocket Casts is available to listen to everywhere like, CarPlay, AirPlay, Alexa, Chromecast, and more.
The app is free to use and download, but a premium subscription is available to purchase.
Pocket Casts Plus includes a web player, watch playback, extra themes/app icons, and 10 GB of cloud storage. It costs 99 cents a month.
If organization options are the main feature you want in a podcast app, Castro is the one for you.
Castro organizes your podcasts by an episode’s release rather than by the show. So if you like to listen to episodes from different shows, you’re going to love Castro.
You can pick and choose which episodes you want to listen to and delete what does not interest you.
One of the best features Castro has to offer is the ability to queue up multiple episodes at a time. The queue is super easy to manage and reorganize.
While the app is free to download, Castro also offers a premium subscription called Castro Plus, which costs $18.99 a year. It includes additional custom settings and full access to their Apple Watch app.
Some of the features Castro Plus offers include trim silence, enhance sound quality, and imports episodes to iCloud Drive.
If you’re looking for an app with a variety of content available to listen to, then you should check out Castbox.
Castbox not only offers a variety of podcasting content, but it also offers radio stations, audiobooks, and guided meditations in the app.
The app is easy to use and is smart speaker supported. Castbox is available across iOS devices, and you can even sync across your devices.
Castbox is free to download, but it also offers a premium subscription. The premium service removes ads and adds personalization features. You can receive a 1-week free trial, but then it costs 99 cents a month.
TuneIn is another podcast app that offers a wide variety of content. TuneIn has 4 million different podcasts available. In addition to podcasts, you can also listen to the news, sports, radio, and more.
It has a user-friendly design. TuneIn is available across iOS devices and smart speakers.
The TuneIn app is free to download but also offers a premium service. TuneIn’s premium subscription includes access to MLB, NFL, and other major league sports radio broadcasts. It costs $4.99 a month.
Overcast is an award-winning and crowd favorite podcast app. It has a clean and straightforward design and comes with a great Apple Watch app.
Podcasts automatically download into the Unplayed Tab. But if you don’t want to listen to some of the episodes, you can delete them. The deleted podcasts move over to the All Tab.
Overcast has all the standard features you want in a podcast app like speed control, sleep timer, new episode notifications, and more. Plus, Overcast allows you to download podcasts so you can listen to episodes when your watch isn’t connected to the internet.
You can also make playlists, and those appear above your subscribed podcasts.
One cool feature that Overcast offers are that you have the option to share episodes and even sound clips from them.
Overcast is free to use and download, but they offer a premium subscription that removes ads.
You can see ads at the bottom of the app, but they aren’t very noticeable. But if you want to remove the ads, it costs $9.99 a year.
Downcast is another podcast app available across iOS devices. However, the app does cost $2.99 to download. Also, if you want the Downcast app on your Mac, that app costs $4.99.
The app automatically downloads the newest episodes, and you can even go back and download older episodes. But if you do not want to download episodes, you can steam them instead.
You can also create playlists and sync them across your iOS devices.
iHeart is a well-known media company, most well known for its radio stations. But the iHeart app offers much more than radio and music. iHeart is also a popular podcast platform and network.
Their podcast app features a lot of the most popular podcasts available.
iHeart even has a Top 100 list of the most popular podcasts, which is updated every Monday.
Although iHeart offers a free version, there’s also a premium subscription that removes ads. Prices start at $5.99
Spotify is another app mostly known for its music streaming service. But it is also becoming popular for listening to podcasts.
There’s a separate tab for Podcast listening on Spotify and is compatible with Siri.
So if you already have a Spotify account and subscribe to Spotify Premium, you could use this for your podcast listening, too, on your Apple Watch.
Spotify Premium costs $9.99 a month, which includes offline playback and ad-free listening.
Apple’s “improvement” to their podcast app has turned away many long-time listeners, myself included.
I made the switch to Overcast, and I enjoy it a lot. It’s simple and easy to use, which is what I want and need.
I also enjoy using Pocket Casts too. The one thing I dislike about Pocket Casts is that you need a premium subscription for full access to the Apple Watch app.
So if you want a podcast app that is free to use on your Apple Watch, your best bet is Overcast. But if you want a more premium experience, try out Pocket Casts or Castro.
Do you have a favorite podcast app that we did not mention? Let us know in the comments below!