How do you do podcasts on your iOS device? [Poll]

Apple has just today announced 1 billion podcast subscriptions in iTunes alone, so what better opportunity to ask how you do podcasts on your iOS device? Though Apple didn't come up with the idea of a podcast themselves, the use of the word 'pod' in the term meant that it quickly became synonymous with iTunes and the iPod. As the years passed and we found ourselves in the age of iOS and the App Store, there's now a number of different ways to get our podcast fix on the go.

My choice? I use the Apple Podcasts app, purely because of the iCloud sync. It keeps things in check across my iPhone and iPad, and has a simple method of searching and subscribing to new podcasts. But, it has its faults, and we're fortunate that the App Store offers a pretty stellar choice of alternatives. So, what's you favorite? We've highlighted a few of the more popular choices up top, but we can't capture them all, so be sure to drop a line in the comments below telling us what you like the most and why!

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Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Reader comments

How do you do podcasts on your iOS device? [Poll]


Apple podcast app is completely useless since you cannot subscribe to a podcast that requires a password. Since my main use of podcasts is to listen to Rush 24/7 podcast, Apple Podcast App is a fail. Downcast does what I need.

That's not entirely true. I subscribe to The Economist, and login to their website in order to get the link to the Audio Edition podcast. You cannot access the Audio Edition unless you are logged in via subscription. Once logged into the site, I copy the link they provide on their site and open it in Mobile Safari on my iPhone, which launches the Podcasts app. You just need to ask the podcast publisher for a URL.

I use iCatcher! It works well for me and I like the background audio and iCloud sync. Before I used the stock music app and synced to iTunes all the time. This is much better without the constant syncing.

You need another choice, or at least one less enthusiastic, to represent the many people (like myself) who use Apple podcasts despite being profoundly unimpressed by it.

I used to be a professional driver, 50-60 hours a week, listening to podcasts the whole time. I started out syncing iTunes to my iPod, did the same when I got my iPhone four years ago with the music app, but it was a pain the ass, I had to wait for my podcasts to download and sync every day before going to work! Finally I tried several apps and determined that Downcast was the best at the time. I haven't had reason to try anything else since then. If it ain't broke, don't spend $4.99 to fix it! Downcast still works great and has frequent updates; now it syncs across all my devices with iCloud, too. One feature I like is that it will run audio-only for video podcasts, even when the app is closed, for when I'm on the road and can't watch them. The other ones wouldn't when I first check them out, I don't know about now. Also, gesture controls so I don't have to take my eyes off the road.

I was originally a Pocket Casts guy then I tried the old instacast and now for the last few months using the Apple app. It has gotten much better..

(Directed at the author...) I can't believe you stick with Apple's app simply for iCloud syncing! Another commenter beat me to this, but Downcast (my favorite after having tried pretty much all of the above) ALSO supports iCloud syncing of downloads, playlists, subscriptions, play position, and even settings/preferences. It had long ago found a permanent home on the front-most screen of both my iPhone and iPad.

It's also free. I forgot to mention that bit too. I've paid for much better clients on other platforms without sync, so Apples being free is a definite bonus

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I've been really pleased with Pocket Casts. I'm a fan of the interface and the featureset. I still use downcast on my ipad for video podcasts though. Also found it handy for doing transcriptions of interviews since you can side-load audio files into Downcast and slow them down with the speed controls.

Downcast. follow a lot of podcasts; about 30. It takes the place of radio for me which is often repetitive, boring, and often not enlightening. I use downcast daily without fail. It Did icloud sync before Apple did. It's one of only 4 apps i've ever paid for. I use it daily. I'm pretty satisfied. Tried the apple podcast app when it was originally released. Was not satisfied. So i bit the bullet and bought Downcast. Can't speak for the apple app since any updates have been made. I will say it looks better without that reel to reel look. One thing i like about downcast is you can customize each individual podcast as to whether it downloads or streams, I often don't have a stable data so it's important to download mine 99% of the time. you can customize how many episodes get saved, sorting (new to old, old to new), download over wifi only, make customized playlists (i have sports, tv/film, other, etc) that way i can listen to whatever my mood dictates. I'm pretty happy. It updates often and i like the interface. Oh and it was affordable. I got it on a rare sale for 99c. But even at $1.99 it's cheaper than many others going for $4.99.

iCatcher works well for me because it has this auto download feature that really keeps me abreast with all my subscriptions.

Stitcher! I used to sync podcasts to my iPod Classic, then iPhone 3GS, then iPhone 4, tried plenty of apps including those mentioned here. Then discovered Stitcher

One thing we can be sure of... The Apple app will be the first one that is updated to provide this "magically syncing behind the scenes" support when iOS 7 is released.

Will sure help with the "dang! Forgot to open the app to kick off the downloads" and be without for a bit.

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Downcast. Probably the best running app on my phone. Tried the Apple one when it first came out and was blown away by its suckiness. I hear its gotten better but it turned me off so hard I just can't be bothered.

I've always used an app called PodCruncher. It was the first one I tried after I didn't like the Apple Podcasts app. Been using it ever since. Does what I need and the dev is very responsive. Recommended.