Pocket Casts is the best podcast app for iPhone. It offers not only an amazing discovery and listening experience, but also plays video podcasts and offers cross-platform support for Android.

Lory Gil has been reviewing iPhone apps for years and regularly tests and evaluates new podcast apps as part of her job as app editor at iMore. If you have suggestions for this guide, you can contact her at lory@imore.com or @appaholik on Twitter.

Best overall

Pocket Casts

$3.99

Pocket Casts

See on App Store

Pocket Casts used to be an OK podcast app, but when ShiftyJelly released version 6.0, it turned it into the best podcast app for iPhone. It offers an incredible level of discoverability; a customizable Up Next playlist so you can add, rearrange, and organize your listening experience; customizable filters so you can search for specific criteria in shows you subscribe to; and support for a wide range of content and platforms.

Bottom-line: Pocket Casts offers not only an amazing discovery and listening experience, it also plays video podcasts and offers cross-platform support for Android. That puts it at the top of my chart.

One more thing: There's also a web app for Mac and PC... and even a Windows Phone app!

Why Pocket Casts is the best

Great feature-set, wide-ranging support.

Thanks to its latest update, Pocket Casts has become my go-to podcast app. I love the Up Next feature the most. You can build a list of episodes to play simply by swiping to the left in the mini player at the bottom and then tapping the show you want to add. Then, you can reorganize your Up Next playlist by holding and dragging an episode to its new location, even in the mini player. If you want to listen to a few hours of comedy, followed by a few hours of tech, you can set that up in a few seconds.

Wired's David Pierce:

There are lots of better somethings, no matter what platform you use. But a brand-new update to Pocket Casts makes it hands-down the best iPhone podcasts app, not to mention the best overall service for people who want to podcast from all manner of different devices. The new version for iOS, Pocket Casts 6.0, brings the app—which was great for a long time, and has kind of languished the last couple of years—into full-fledged modernity. It's now really easy to find new podcasts to listen to, sort through the ones you already have, and more. Pocket Casts keeps lists of episodes you've already started, ones you've downloaded but not listened to (which is handy for clearing space on your phone), and more.

With mosts podcast apps, new episodes for shows that you subscribe to will download as soon as you open the app. All of them. Pocket Casts has a feature that lets you customize which shows get automatically downloaded so you're not bogging down your internet or filling up your device's storage with shows you might not listen to on a regular basis. Pick the ones you always want to keep fresh and leave the others for manual downloading.

There is also a manual filtering option that lets you create lists that fit certain criteria. You can select audio or video, a release date, and pick the podcasts you want on the list. So, you could create a filter that only shows you science video podcasts that have had new shows in the past month.

Pocket Casts is also cross-platform, so if you own both Android and iPhone, or switched from one to the other, you're still covered.

Best on-the-go

Overcast

Free

Overcast

See on App Store

Overcast re-invented the podcast app, introducing many of the features now found in many other apps as well. It has a great discovery section that includes the ability to connect to twitter and get show recommendations from friends, customizable playlists and settings so you can include specific podcasts, set priorities for shows, and add additional episodes. You don't have to subscribe to a show in order to listen to an episode, either. Overcast is compatible with Apple Watch, Which makes it the perfect app for jogging, walking, or cycling. Overcast is also CarPlay compatible, so you can hook it up in your car for those long road trips.

Bottom-line: If you don't need video or Android support, and you love taking your podcast listening on the road, on the trail, or simply around the house, Overcast is for you!

One more thing: Overcast makes it really easy to import your Pocket Casts subscriptions. Export your subscriptions from Pocket Cast and use the Overcast Share sheet to send the content right over.

Best for beginners

Apple Podcasts

Free

Podcast

Apple bundles a Podcast app into every iPhone. It syncs with iTunes on the desktop and is completely integrated with Siri, Apple's virtual personal assistant. That makes it incredibly easy to get started with and use. Because the interface is similar to both the Music app and iTunes, browsing, subscribing to, and playing back shows will instantly feel familiar.You can also create a customized Up Next playlist, and have Siri play, skip, and otherwise control everything for you.

Bottom-line: If you're new to the whole podcast thing, you should start off with Apple's built-in Podcast app. Either you'll love it and stay with it, or it'll prime you for an upgrade to Pocket Casts or Overcast.

One more thing: Podcasts handles both audio and video shows, so you can watch your favorites as well.

Best for dabblers

Soundcloud

Free

SoundCloud

See on App Store

If you're not really into podcasts but want to listen to a few specific episodes every once and a while, Soundcloud lets you do just that. You can follow your favorites, create playlists by adding episodes manually, and even mix up your podcasts with your favorite music on SoundCloud. Discovering podcast content can be difficult, but you can check out the "audio genres" charts to see the most popular content. When you find a podcast you like, you can check out who else on SoundCloud is also following it and maybe make some new friends, or at least find out about new podcasts from others that like the same things you do.

Bottom-line: If you aren't really much of a podcast listener, but sometimes like to dabble in talk-heavy content every once in a while, plug into your SoundCloud account and add some to your playlist.

One more thing: You can start a station based off of a podcast, the same way you would with a song. So you can sit back, relax, and listen to a never-ending stream of podcasts based on your opening pick.

Best overall

Pocket Casts

$3.99

Pocket Casts

See on App Store

Pocket Casts used to be an OK podcast app, but when ShiftyJelly released version 6.0, it turned it into the best podcast app for iPhone. It offers an incredible level of discoverability; a customizable Up Next playlist so you can add, rearrange, and organize your listening experience; customizable filters so you can search for specific criteria in shows you subscribe to; and support for a wide range of content and platforms.

Bottom-line: Pocket Casts offers not only an amazing discovery and listening experience, it also plays video podcasts and offers cross-platform support for Android. That puts it at the top of my chart.

One more thing: There's also a web app for Mac and PC... and even a Windows Phone app!