7 nearly-perfect podcast apps for iPhone

Apple's built-in Podcasts app covers all the basics. Audio and video, download and streaming, discovery and subscription. It also syncs with iTunes on Mac and Windows. So, if you're just getting into podcasts, it's a great app to get into them with. If and when you're ready for something else — or something more — there are several great options available on the App Store. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, so consider them all, try the ones you find interesting, and pick the best iPhone app for you!

When you've decided, or if you've already decided, be sure to vote in the poll up top and let us know why you went the way you did in the comments below!

Note: We're only including traditional podcast players in this roundup. We'll do radio apps like Stitcher and TuneIn in a separate roundup.

1. Overcast

For commuters

If you don't want or need video or streaming, Overcast's Smart Speed and Voice Boost technology make it the ideal podcast app for commuters or long-form listeners. There's also a web app for when you want to listen away from your iPhone or iPad.

2. Pocket Casts

For Android switchers

If you're switching from Android to iPhone and want to bring your Pocket Casts catalog with you, or if you're using both platforms and want to sync between them, then Pocket Casts for iOS is absolutely for you. (If you're using Windows, check out the web app!)

3. Instacast

For Mac syncing

Instacast offers full audio and video podcast functionality for iPhone and iPad and more: it also has a Mac app. That means you can sync and move seamlessly between iOS and OS X. If you want your podcasts on all your Apple devices, you want Instacast.

4. Downcast

For power players

Downcast has a plethora of features, including a Mac app. It's advanced feature set, including support for password protected podcast feeds, have made it a popular choice among power-users.

5. iCatcher

For feature fanatics

iCatcher is a battleship. It's not the prettiest podcast player in the store but it packs a ton of features and customization options into its interface. If you want to control every little detail, you'll want to check out iCatcher.

6. Castro

For minimalists

If and when you decide you want to go back to basics and want a podcast app that's super simple and elegant, Castro will give you just that — with a twist. Thanks to a powerful minimalism, everything you need is right there, but just what you need, and just when you need it.

7. Podwrangler

For Feedwranglers

Podwrangler is simple and solid. It's also built off the Feedwrangler engine. So, if you use that for RSS, you'll want to use this for podcasts. They go together like mornings and coffee.

8. Your favorite?

If you're new to podcasts on the iPhone, one of the above apps should absolutely suit you well. Read them through, pick the ones that interest you, and tell us which one you end up liking the best. If you've already picked your preferred podcast app, let me know which one it is!