A Complete Guide to Listening to Podcasts on Your Android Device


Have you heard the buzz around podcasts lately? Podcast listening has absolutely exploded over the past few years. According to HubSpot, there were over 2 million active podcasts as of 2022!

And the options keep growing across every topic imaginable – true crime, comedy, news, storytelling, motivation and more.

The great news is that Android devices give you a variety of easy ways to discover and listen to all these great podcast options. Let‘s explore the top 5 methods…

Overview of Listening Options

Here are the main platforms we‘ll cover for streaming podcasts on Android:

  1. Google Podcasts App – Preinstalled podcast app on Android devices
  2. Third Party Apps – Feature-rich podcast listening apps
  3. Podcast Websites – Listen directly from official podcast sites
  4. YouTube – Search podcasts uploaded as YouTube videos
  5. iTunes Web – Leverage iTunes‘ massive podcast directory

Now let‘s dive into step-by-step instructions for accessing podcasts through each platform‘s app or site…

Method 1 – Google Podcasts App

The Google Podcasts app comes preinstalled on pretty much all Android phones these days. This first party app created by Google offers a simple way to search, subscribe and listen to podcasts.

Here‘s how to use it:

  1. Open the app – Locate the Google Podcasts icon in your app drawer and tap to launch the app

  2. Search for a podcast – Tap the search bar at the top and type in the name of a podcast

  3. Browse podcasts & episodes – Scroll down to browse top podcasts and trending episodes

  4. Tap a podcast – Selecting a podcast shows available episodes to pick from

  5. Subscribe – Tap the Subscribe button below a podcast‘s image to follow that show

  6. Select an episode – Pick an episode title then tap the play button icon to start listening!

The Google Podcasts interface focuses mainly on essential podcast streaming. But if you want more advanced options, third party podcast apps are the way to go…

Method 2 – Third Party Podcast Apps

In addition to the Google first party podcast app, there are numerous third party podcast apps available to download on the Play Store.

These apps offer full featured podcast players, intensive podcast library management, and extra customization options.

Some of the most popular Android third party podcast apps include:

  • Pocket Casts
  • Podcast Addict
  • Spotify (podcasts + music)
  • Castbox

The below table summarizes key features available across top podcast apps:

AppKey Features
Pocket CastsCross device syncing, playback speed customization
Podcast AddictPlayback queue control, notifications settings
SpotifyCombined music and podcast library
CastboxPodcast discovery algorithms

While these apps provide pretty similar functionality, reviewing the extra features can help decide which option best matches your preferences as a listener.

And using any of these apps follows the same general steps:

  1. Download the podcast app from the Play Store
  2. Open the app and browse or search podcasts
  3. Tap a podcast, then tap an episode to play!

So download a few top contenders and test which interface and options you like best.

Method 3 – Podcast Websites

Rather than using a dedicated podcast app, you can listen directly from a podcast‘s official website.

Here is the process for playing podcasts via websites:

  1. Find the podcast site – Google "[podcast name] website"

  2. Navigate to Episodes – Click "Episodes" or "Shows" menu

  3. Select an episode – Browse all available episodes

  4. Tap play – Click the play button icon to stream the episode

With podcast websites, you don‘t need to deal with a separate app taking up storage space. And you can access episodes right as they get released.

However, websites are not always designed well for mobile screens. So the listening experience may not feel as seamless as dedicated podcast apps.

Here is a comparison of key factors between listening via apps vs. websites:

ContentNew eps may have a delay after early release on websitesGet brand new episodes right away
DesignBuilt for mobile listeningCan have poor mobile optimization
StorageMust download seperate app using device storageDon‘t need to install anything extra

So weigh the pros and cons of each option for your preferences. Both platforms allow listening to the same podcast content – just through slightly different channels.

Method 4 – YouTube

These days, lots of podcasters are uploading their episodes onto YouTube in addition to audio-only platforms.

This gives you another place to discover podcast content. Here is how it works:

  1. Open YouTube app – Launch the YouTube app on your Android device

  2. Search podcast name – Enter the podcast name into YouTube‘s search bar

  3. Select matching video – Tap into a video matching that podcast ep

  4. Play video – Tap play icon to stream the podcast episode

YouTube can help find podcast episodes if you‘re struggling to locate them in apps.

However, YouTube also comes with some limitations for podcast listening:

  • Video must stay open on the screen
  • If you switch apps, audio usually stops playing
  • Workaround is getting a Premium account for background audio

So YouTube can fill in gaps accessing podcast content. But overall, dedicated podcast apps tend to offer better listening workflows.

Method 5 – iTunes Podcasts Web Directory

Lastly, Android users can access Apple‘s massive podcast library through the iTunes website – podcasts.apple.com.

Even without iTunes software or Apple devices, anyone can still search and stream podcasts from their mobile web browser.

Follow these instructions to leverage iTunes‘ podcast offerings:

  1. Open web browser – Launch Chrome or your preferred browser

  2. Go to "podcasts.apple.com" – Enter the url to access the iTunes podcast directory

  3. Search podcasts – Use the search bar to find podcast titles

  4. Select a podcast then episode – Choose from available eps and tap to play!

Using the iTunes web directory gives Android listeners access to pretty much any podcast in existence to supplement other discovery methods.

The main downside is poor mobile site optimization making for clunky browsing. But once you find your episode, streaming works great.

So keep iTunes in your back pocket to fill any podcast listening gaps!

That covers the top 5 techniques you can use to access podcasts across nearly any show on your Android device:

  1. Leverage Google‘s first party podcast app for simple streaming
  2. Choose robust third party podcast apps like Pocket Cast or Spotify depending on preferences
  3. Stream episodes right from official podcast websites as soon as they release
  4. Search podcast uploads on YouTube to access video editions
  5. Use Apple‘s massive podcast directory at iTunes Podcasts web

Give each method a try to determine what fits your listening habits best! Mix and match different platforms to access all your favorite shows in one place.

The world of podcasting has something for everyone. So get out there exploring – happy listening!

Let me know if you have any other questions on setting up your optimal podcast lifestyle on that Android device of yours!

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