When asked about podcasts and which app to use, I immediately recommend Pocket Casts. It's been my go-to for many years now and it's only gotten better with time. As things have changed and evolved, how we consume our favorite media has shifted somewhat. Smart speakers and assistants are all the craze these days, so Pocket Casts is adapting to that by introducing an Alexa skill.

As usual, all you need to do is add the skill in the Alexa app and connect your Pocket Casts account to your Amazon one. With it, you can ask for whatever podcast in your Up Next queue or you can play anything specific simply by mentioning it by name. And there is support for recommendations, too, which uses your playback history to offer suggestions and improve your discovery options.

There is a whole list of other commands that you can take advantage of, which I'll list below:

  • “Alexa, open Pocket Casts”
    • Starts Pocket Casts and tells you about a few things you can do. You don’t have to say this before any of the phrases below, but it’s handy to know in case you’re ever feeling lost.
  • “Alexa, tell Pocket Casts to play my Up Next” or
  • “Alexa, tell Pocket Casts to resume the last podcast”
    • Plays the episode you were last playing in any of our apps (iOS, Android, Desktop).
  • “Alexa, tell Pocket Casts to play the latest episode of [Podcast Name]”
    • Will play the latest episode of the podcast you asked for.
  • “Alexa, tell Pocket Casts to play [Podcast Name]”
    • Similar to the one above, but it will play the newest unplayed episode. So if you’ve already played the latest one, but not the one that came before it, it will play that instead.
  • “Alexa, ask Pocket Casts what’s playing”
    • Will tell you what’s currently playing, or if nothing is playing, tell you what you have queued in your Up Next list through other devices.
  • “Alexa, ask Pocket Casts what’s up next”
    • If you have more than one episode queued up, this will tell you about the next one.
  • “Alexa, ask Pocket Casts about the featured podcast”
    • Will tell you a bit about the podcast we’re currently featuring and offer to play it for you.
  • “Alexa, ask Pocket Casts for some recommendations”
    • Will offer you up to 3 recommendations based on your playback history. A good way to find something to listen to that’s tailored to you.
  • “Alexa, tell Pocket Casts to surprise me”
    • A bit more of a roll of the dice, we’ll randomly pick an episode from your subscriptions without trying to be too smart about it. A fun way to find new things to listen to.
  • “Alexa help”
    • You can say this whenever you’re interacting with the Pocket Casts skill and you’re not quite sure what to do next, or what other things you can do.
  • “Alexa, Pause”
  • “Alexa, Resume”
  • “Alexa, Stop”
  • “Alexa, Play”
  • “Alexa, next episode”

And that's it. Be sure to add the skill in the Alexa app if you're interested, and why don't you subscribe to the Android Police podcast while you're at it?

Pocket Casts - Podcast Player
Pocket Casts - Podcast Player