Developer: Perfect Day
Price: Free [$3.99/£3.99 per month premium tier]
Size: 92.3 MB
Platform: iPhone & iPad
Breaker is a highly competent podcast app that’s had a bit of a facelift in recent times.
Formerly known for its pronounced social media angle, these days it is to all intents and purposes a reskin of the Player FM podcast app. As in, the same UI, the same podcast recommendations, the same feature set, and the same $3.99/£3.99 per month premium subscription tier.
This is all a bit of a shame, to be quite frank. Previous reports on the app praised it for its social angle, with the ability to message friends and follow their listening habits, but there’s precious little of that on display here. The original Breaker team joined Twitter at the beginning of 2021, presumably taking their bright social network-inflected ideas with them.
What is here is the ability to search for, subscribe to, download, and listen to podcasts just as you would with any other established podcast app. It’s also possible to bookmark and add comments to individual podcasts, though the latter requires you to sign up to the premium tier.
On a more prosaic level, there’s access to more than 20 million podcasts. The onboarding process is pretty typical, as it establishes the kind of content you’re interested in (politics, comedy, movies etc), and then drills down with some related recommendations. Again, this is all exactly like Player FM and many other audio player apps, which is no bad thing.
One early issue we had here is that Breaker is quite a US-centric service. There’s only a vague sense of locational awareness to its algorithms, with a whole heap of American politics podcasts pushing our way. That’s worth considering if you’re based outside the good ol’ US of A.
There’s also a daily updated selection of human-curated suggestions house within the primary Discover tab.
Otherwise, it’s impressive how quickly you can get up and listening to a podcast. Followed podcasts will download new episodes automatically in the background, and we had no issues with playback quality or reliability.
The playback UI offers playback speed controls, as well as a function that skips silent sections, and one that reduces noise.
All in all, Breaker is a thoroughly usable, fully-featured podcast app. It’s just a little difficult to discern a USP following its big revamp, which makes us wonder about its ongoing viability.