Put headphones on your ears and turn on the podcast in your smartphone – and you’re ready to listen! But which platforms and apps can you use to listen to podcasts? Which offers are best suited? What is there to consider?
Podcasts can be listened to in various ways: directly via a provider’s website or via various apps. The apps themselves can be divided into streaming platforms, such as Spotify and Amazon Music, and so-called podcatchers.
Users can also access podcasts through popular audio content platforms. You can search for podcasts using the search or filter function. Some of these are exclusive podcasts that are only available on the respective platform. The apps are usually free, but require registration. If you don’t want to listen to commercials in between, you have to take out a paid subscription.
With Family subscriptions, you can set up a separate account for your child. In it, you can create a playlist of age-appropriate podcasts.
Podcatchers are apps that allow subscribing to podcasts, downloading episodes and listening to them directly. New podcasts can be added via a search function. Such apps are suitable for those who like to listen to podcasts regularly. Podcatchers can access a great many podcasts, for example, content from the ARD audio library. Since the podcatcher offer in the app stores is very large, we have compiled the following selection, which can help in the decision for such a podcast app:
The free app is only available for Android. The range of functions is reduced, but clear. The absolute plus point is the good data protection. The app can also be downloaded and used without a Google account (via the alternative app store F-Droid). It is open source and there is no company behind it that wants to make money with the app.
The app only runs on iOS. It is already pre-installed on the devices. Those who use multiple Apple devices can sync the podcast content, i.e. access it from multiple devices. Unfortunately, certain settings in the app have to be made individually for each podcast, e.g. enable or disable automatic download when a new episode appears. The structure of the app is understandable and clear.
The free app is pre-installed on most Android devices and requires a Google account. Then content can be synchronized across devices. Podcast episodes can also be downloaded and listened to offline.
The free app is only available for iOS. It offers a wider range of features than Apple Podcasts and comes with unusual features, such as Voice Boost, so podcasts sound pleasant and consistently loud. There is no big company behind the app, but a single developer who is a podcaster himself.
The app is available for Android and iOS for free and it is also available as a web app. The app has a wide range of features, including creating your own playlists. Additional functions have to be paid for via in-app purchases, but are not necessary for most users. The app can be a bit confusing for newbies.
The app itself is free, but after a trial period, use must be paid for by subscription. It is available for Android and iOS. In it there are not only podcasts, but also audio plays and audio books.
The free app from a German developer is available for Android and iOS. The special feature: the app does not collect any data from its users. In addition, many of the sometimes innovative features were developed together with podcast fans. The app is suitable for podcast newcomers as well as for frequent listeners.
Podcatchers are not suitable for everyone. If you or your child only listen to podcasts occasionally and use platforms such as Spotify anyway, the corresponding app is certainly sufficient.
Before installing a new app, carefully read the descriptions in the app stores. Pay particular attention to which smartphone features the podcast app wants to access and whether that makes sense for you. You can also install and try apps before deciding to use them together with your child. Remember to uninstall the unused apps and delete the account. This conserves smartphone memory and ensures that unused apps cannot track data.