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(Credit: nakaridore, Shutterstock / nakaridore)

When you're looking to be entertained or enlightened over a long commute on your Android phone, iOS phone, or tablet, there's nothing like an engrossing podcast episode. "Serial," "The Joe Rogan Experience," "The Daily," "This American Life," and "My Favorite Murder" are some of our favorites. With the best podcast apps for iOS and Android, it's easy to explore and subscribe to thousands of arts, comedy, news, politics, sports, and tech podcasts and get inspired, stay informed, grow personally or professionally, or escape from life's worries.

SEE: Best Spotify alternatives for streaming music in 2018

1. Castbox

Streamlined and powerful podcast player Castbox (Android, iOS) lets users easily search, discover, subscribe to, and enjoy 50-plus million audio and video podcast episodes about every conceivable topic and audiobooks from around the world in a variety of languages on their Android and iOS devices. Stream or download to listen to offline using the free app. If you like falling asleep to podcasts, just set Castbox's sleep timer. With CarPlay and Amazon Echo support, you can listen from anywhere anytime.

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2. Overcast

Overcast (iOS) is a simple, intuitive, and robust podcast player with smart speed, voice boost, smart playlists, and offline listening features, to give you more control over your listening experience. The Overcast app for iPhone lets you listen over your phone, tablet, Apple watch, or in your car via CarPlay.

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3. Podbean Podcast App & Player

Clean and easy to navigate and featuring powerful search, intelligent speed, volume boost, customizable playlists, and Amazon Alexa integration, Podbean Podcast App & Player (Android, iOS) lets you listen to podcasts and audiobooks online or off, and in eight languages. You can also record, mix, edit, and post your own podcasts on Podbean's iPhone app and Android app.

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4. Spreaker Podcast Radio

Free podcast app Spreaker Podcast Radio (Android, iOS) has thousands of podcasts, shows, and live broadcasts to easily search and explore on or offline. Create and customize playlists or get automatically generated ones, interact with your favorite podcasters and your fellow listeners, and more.

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5. Castro Podcasts

One of the best podcast apps for iPhone, Castro Podcasts (iOS) helps you stay on top of all your favorite podcasts by sending them to your inbox, putting them into a queue for you, or archiving past episodes to help catch you up. CarPlay support lets you play in the car and Dark mode and a sleep timer help get you to bed.

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6. Breaker

Breaker (iOS) offers 300,000-plus podcasts to discover from followed friends or the Breaker community on your mobile device. Control the speed, skip silences, and download new episodes automatically. Downloading podcasts for offline listening is quick and easy on the iOS podcast app.

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7. Stitcher for Podcasts

The award-winning Stitcher (Android, iOS) app plays top news, comedy, true crime, politics, and additional podcasts and Internet radio stations on demand. Or you can download for offline listening over your smart speaker with Amazon Alexa integration and Sonos speaker systems, or in your car with CarPlay integration.

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Joshua is an editor for CNET's Download.com. He covers the mobile tech and apps that power our lives and interviews celebrities about their favorite apps. Previously, he worked as an editor at Healthline and Gay.com and as a contributing writer for Mac Directory, MacAddict, SF Weekly, SF Examiner, and SF Chronicle.