Review: Podcats Helps You Find Cool Podcasts

Podcats is the most interesting new podcasts app I have seen come along in a while. While Overcast and Pocket Casts are arguably the best podcast apps out there, Podcats is the most unique. Here’s my elevator pitch for Podcats:

Podcats is an app that shows you the best, most interesting podcast episodes without the need to subscribe to anything. Whenever you open the app, you’ll be greeted with the best podcasts of the day and the ability to listen right there on the spot. Podcats takes the work out of finding great podcasts.

That’s what Podcats offers in a nutshell. When you launch the app, you’re greeded with a list of the most popular podcast episodes at the moment (it’s unclear what the time range is for this list or how often it will update). The list of episodes right now are pretty good. There are episodes of Serial and WTF with Marc Maron, but I hope to see some new podcasts that I have never heard of hit this list as more people use the app.

You can listen to episodes within Podcats, but the listening experience is going to be far too basic for the avid podcast listener. There are no options at all, so all episodes play at 1x speed and there are no skip forward/backward controls. It’s very basic to say the least.

But Podcats doesn’t need to be your main podcast app. It seems designed to give casual users a way to see great content without the work of discovering and subscribing to shows, while also being a tool for more hardcore listeners to find new shows and subscribe to them in the podcast app of their choice. Each episode within Podcats has a link to subscribe to the show you’re looking at. When you tap that link, you’ve given the option to subscibe in whatever podcasts app you have installed on your phone. The app with shoot you over to whichever app you choose and it worked great for me on the 2 shows I tried.

So I like Podcats, but there are 2 things I would love for them to add in the future. First, they need an API that other apps can tap into. Their entire service is currently based on people voting up episodes from within their own app. They could drastically increase their voter pool if it was possible to “like” an episode from the podcast app you’re already using. Second, I would love HuffDuffer support in the app. For those who don’t know, HuffDuffer lets you add a single episode of a podcast to your personal podcast feed without subscribing to the entire show. This is great for one-off episodes, such as when someone you like does a guest spot on another show. Podcats and HuffDuffer seem like a match made in heaven.

So will Podcats stay on my phone? For the time being, yes. I have it buried a few screens deep, so I don’t see it all the time, but I’m keeping it around for when I don’t have anything interesting in my regular subscriptions. I think it needs to open itself up more as a service and less of just a standalone app to make it really huge, but this could be a big deal.

Podcats is a free download on the App Store