Apps to Deliver Podcasts Straight to Your Smartphone

Weekly Smartphone Apps

Did you catch our recent roundup of great podcasts perfect for slow work days, commute, or even while working out? Literature, politics, art, technology, comics, beauty/fashion, design all available. But where we once had to download to our desktop and transfer to our mobile device via USB cable, smartphone apps bring your choice of content automatically...

iOS

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Left: Downcast - Right: Instacast

Downcast
Podcast aficionados aren't necessarily impressed by Apple's new Podcast app, but as luck would have it there are alternatives offering better options. Downcast is one of them, managing your podcasts into different categories and allowing better control over automatic downloads of favorite channels and feeds. You can even choose to update based on location so the app knows only to download when you're at home on your own wi-fi network. Once you've set up your playlists using iCloud, content will appear automatically on other iOS devices, including where you left off. $2

Instacast
Are you always looking for more content? Instacast lets users search for new podcasts based on channels most frequently listened to. There's also a list of popular feeds if you're new to the podcast medium and wondering where to start. Instacast is particularly adept at managing downloads, alerting users to updates from subscriptions and automatically caching new episodes so they are available whenever they're ready to listen to. $2

Android

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Left: BeyondPod - Right: Stitcher

BeyondPod
Android users are often drawn to the mobile operating system's deep customization options, and BeyondPod is a great example of that philosophy. Nearly every inch of this app is customizable, including setting automatic downloading, preset locations to safely download, determing updates, and the option to delete outdated episodes. On top of that, BeyondPod can also be programmed to play certain channels feed in any order the user determines which is great for mixing up genres and topics to keep things interesting. $7

Stitcher
Those thirsty for the latest in the world at large will get a kick out of Stitcher, a fast and easy to use app with a focus on your favorite news, comedy, sports and talk radio shows. For the very reasonable price of free you'll have access to over 10,000 radio shows, live stations, and podcasts on demand from such sources as NPR, CNN, Fox, BBC, Freakonomics, Adam Carolla, TedTalks, SModcast, Joe Rogan and more. Free
Also available for iOS

Windows Phone

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Left: Podceiver - Right: Podcast Picker

Podceiver
Podceiver doesn't have features like cloud sync but the ease of use interface more than makes up for it. Imagine setting up your podcast subscription list with a few taps of your thumb, this app definitely gives more time for listening and watching the latest updates. Podceiver also doubles as an RSS reader so it's a great one stop app for reading, listening and watching new media relative to your interests. $2

Podcast Picker
When all you need is a simple podcast player for a good price, Podcast Picker won't steer you wrong. The interface is fantastically simple but packs all the necessary information efficiently on every screen. Podcasts are easy to subscribe to and can be downloaded for offline listening or streamed with a data connection. One particular feature I'm crazy about is pinning podcasts as a live tile to my start screen which just makes me anticipate the upcoming iteration of Windows Phone more. $1

(Images: 1. Jason Rodway, all others: as credited above.)

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