Overcast (Free, iOS)
Overcast is one of the best podcast apps for your iPhone or iPad. Designed by Marco Arment, it is beautiful, is easy to use and blends in naturally with the aesthetics of iOS 8. At its basic it does everything that a good podcast app is supposed to do. It lets you search, subscribe and download podcasts so you can listen to them even when offline and it lets you get recommendations from Twitter. But it is when you unlock all its potential with a Rs 300 in-app purchase that it truly excels. With an innovative feature called Smart Speed, the app ‘dynamically shortens silences in talk shows’ so that you can listen to a podcast with extra speed without it sounding unnaturally fast.
Pocket Casts (Rs 250/iOS, Android)
If you are on Android, podcasting does not get better than Pocket Casts. And if you have the habit of jumping between your iOS and Android devices, Pocket Casts is the best app you can get. Designed to suit the aesthetics of whichever operating system you are running it on, Pocket Casts is beautifully designed for its iPhone, iPad and Android iterations. While some features like very fast refreshes and auto downloads are coming for all those iterations, the iOS and Android apps get features that are unique to their environments with the former getting background refreshes and Airplay support and the latter getting special widgets and notification centre controls.
Stitcher Radio (Free, iOS/Android)
Stitcher is another well-designed app that goes well beyond what a standard podcast app does. The simplest way to describe Stitcher is as a radio station that you customise. By ‘stitching’ together content that you like you can listen to your favourite podcasts or even radio shows uninterruptedly even when you are offline. The star of the show here is the ‘Front Page’ which delivers to you the latest episodes of all your favourite shows and recommends new shows based on what you are listening to right now. Using Facebook integration, Stitcher also lets you discover what your friends are listening to and lets you easily share your favourite programs with your friends.