What if I don’t want to migrate to YouTube now that the Google Podcasts app is now more?

What if I don’t want to migrate to YouTube now that the Google Podcasts app is now more?

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A year ago, the Google Podcasts app was hotter than Georgia asphalt. It was downloaded more than 500 million times – or half a billion,

– and today, it’s gone. The search engine giant collected the Podcasts app’s scalp and granted it an honorary place in the Google Graveyard – a site for all discontinued Google projects.

for their listening sessions.

Yeah, well, YouTube’s dedicated music app has a podcast feature that was rolled out to users in select countries in April 2023. A Podcasts-dubbed bubble button appeared at the top of YT Music’s Home screen where are the rest of the filters like “Energize”, “Workout” and “Commute”.While YouTube Music’s venture into the podcast realm was nice to see, it was nonetheless a nasty surprise what the Google overlords said back in the Fall of 2023: “YouTube Music scheduled to completely replace Google Podcasts in 2024“.

At least, there’s a migration process that will facilitate it for those who want to export their podcast subscriptions to YouTube Music.

But what if I don’t want to migrate to YouTube Music now that the Google Podcasts app has been shut down? What if I’ve reached the end of my rope with Google and their recurring massacre-like behavior?

Let’s explore some alternatives beyond Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts (RIP)!

What makes a good podcast app?

Before we proceed with our Google-alternatives explorations, it’s important to highlight what makes a dedicated podcast app good.

Usually, it’s down to the following and you shouldn’t settle for less:

  • Automation: Podcast apps should allow you to subscribe to shows, automatically updating your feed with new episodes. Yes, I need automation, I don’t want to search manually for new content from the shows I’m subscribed to.
  • Downloads: Users should have control over download settings, including manual downloads or limiting new episode downloads per show, and setting maximum storage usage. It’s nice to have a new episode automatically downloaded, but things can get out of control if you’re subscribed to too many shows.
  • Playlists: The ability to create and sort playlists for organizing favorite shows, such as lists for morning listening, weekend shows, or long drives, should not be underestimated.
  • Sound: Most apps include an audio boost feature to enhance human voices in podcasts. While this is a redundant feature for those who use headphones with great ANC (Active Noise Cancellation), a volume booster comes handy. If you’re stuck with a pair of not-so-great earbuds, you’re in downtown Karachi, Pakistan (said to be number one in the World’s Noisiest Cities list) and you want to hear what your favorite creator has to say, a volume booster is a must.
  • Trimmer: Many apps offer a dead air trimmer to automatically remove long pauses in episodes.
  • Speed: “Somepodcasterstalkreallyfast“. Others… well, they, uh… others, being human beings, are prone to, uh… well, others, they have a different tempo and… uhm, it’s… it’s just how they talk, and they talk… slow. That’s why flexible playback speed options are a must.
Alright, let’s check out what’s worth checking out!

Pocket Casts (iOS, Android)

The Pocket Casts app is very popular. “Pocket Casts is the world’s most powerful podcast platform, an app by listeners, for listeners” – that’s what the developers say for their very own creation. While we’re not here to hand out crowns, it’s safe to say that this app is good.

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The overall experience is a blend of simplicity and robust features, and there’s a special Extra Dark theme for OLED display enthusiasts. Plus, it supports platforms such as CarPlay, AirPlay, Chromecast, Sonos, and more, allowing you to get your daily dose of podcasts in various ways, locations, and settings.

Its powerful playback features include an “Up Next” queue that syncs across devices, silence trimming to save listening time, variable speed control, volume boost for clearer voice audio, streaming options, and support for chapters with embedded artwork. There’s also a way to skip episode intros!

Users can expect cloud-syncing that ensures your subscriptions, playback queue, listening history, and up-to-date filters. The app automates episode downloads for offline listening, offers custom episode filters, manages storage efficiently, and notifies you of new episodes.

Castro (iOS)

Here’s an iOS exclusive – Castro. This app is presented as “The player for heavy listeners”, and if there was a feature that turned all the podcast episodes into a heavy metal bonanza sung by Fidel Castro – which it doesn’t – I’d be interested.

Castro allows listeners to curate their podcast experience by selecting only the episodes they wish to hear, thus eliminating the clutter of unwanted content. The app allows for the easy organization of episodes into a personalized queue for hours of seamless listening.

This is complemented by features like CarPlay compatibility for in-drive listening, chapter support for easy navigation, and silence trimming to expedite listening sessions.

This app’s queue system allows for drag-and-drop organization of podcasts. The app offers a dark mode and since we’re on the topic of “dark”, there’s a dedicated sleep timer. It allows you to pause playback after a set period so that you can fall asleep while listening without accidentally playing through the full episode while you sleep.

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There’s Castro Plus, an optional subscription, which unlocks advanced capabilities such as Trim Silence to speed through episodes faster, Enhance Voices for clearer audio in noisy environments, and Sideloading for direct audio file imports.

Overcast (iOS)

Another iOS exclusive on the list: meet Overcast that’s “proudly made in New York”. What’s truly impressive is that there’s “no big company or VC funding here – Overcast is the only major podcast app written by a single person”, as presented on the App Store.

Overcast offers a blend of sophistication and simplicity. There’s the Smart Speed feature, which efficiently shortens listening time without altering the natural sound of the audio, and Voice Boost, ensuring consistent volume levels across all podcasts with its broadcast-quality remastering engine.

Of course, the app allows download for offline playback, alongside features for discovering new podcasts with personalized recommendations.

Overcast’s integration with the Apple Watch enables standalone playback and cellular streaming, and there’s the obligatory CarPlay support. Neat!

Privacy is a cornerstone of Overcast, which operates without reliance on third-party analytics, ad services, or tracking codes, ensuring user data remains confidential. The app sustains itself through podcast-promoting ads, with an option for users to purchase Overcast Premium, eliminating ads for a cleaner listening experience.

Podcast Addict (Android)

Yup, the podcast habit can grow into an addiction. Enter the Android-exclusive Podcast Addict app. With a 4.6/5 rating (from 575K reviews) and over 10 million downloads, this one is simply beloved by those that rock a Pixel, a Galaxy, or any other Android-based phone out there.There’s a reason for that – Podcast Addict offers a vast library of free content, including millions of podcasts, live radio shows, audiobooks, YouTube channels and RSS feeds, coupled with the convenience of cloud backup via Google Drive.

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You won’t regret having customizable audio settings like:

  • Playback speed adjustment
  • Silence skipping
  • Volume boosting
  • Mono audio settings
  • Downloads for offline listening

It supports direct ratings and reviews, integrates seamlessly with Android Auto for in-car listening, and offers Chromecast support for casting to external devices. Additional features include chapter support, bookmarks, a sleep timer, shuffle and playlist options, and a video player.

Best of all, Podcast Addict is free, supported by a small ad banner at the bottom of the screen!

Choose wisely (but do give it a try)

If you’re not into podcasts, you may need some extra convincing. While there are many great podcasts out there, I won’t recommend any particular show – that’s up to you to discover.

But next time you’re commuting, or you’re on a sunny walk in the park, do give it a try. I know, I know, that means you won’t be listening to the same twelve songs you’re listening to every single day while engaging in the aforementioned activities, but hey – you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.

The podcast omelette is fun, nutritious and… addictive.

Where to get the perfect podcast app?

That’s easy! Just browse your app store of choice and find what suits you best.

If you already have a favorite from the list above, fire at will:



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