10 best podcasts and YouTube channels for Apple analysis and product coverage

To get multiple perspectives and great buying advice about Apple products, these are the podcasts and YouTube channels I'd recommend.
Written by Jason Hiner, Editor in Chief
Jason Hiner/ZDNET

When it comes to getting the latest Apple news and valuable buying advice about Apple products, I'm going to always recommend that you read ZDNET first. But I also know that people have lots of different ways they consume information, and I'm in that camp, too. I regularly listen to podcasts or YouTube videos in the background when I'm doing chores, walking, driving, traveling, or working out.

And since Apple remains the most popular topic in tech and has a dedicated following of customers who track the company's every move, I thought it would be helpful to share a list of the best places to get audio and video content focused on Apple and its products. ZDNET doesn't have a podcast right and on the ZDNET YouTube channel, we mostly focus on Shorts to give you tips, unboxings, and product takes in under 60 seconds. The picks on the list below are of the longer variety, typically ranging from 10 minutes to 2 hours.

Speaking of tips, here's a quick one to best take advantage of YouTube videos. I'd highly recommend getting YouTube Premium ($14/month) so that you can listen to any of the videos ad-free and in the background -- like a music or podcast app -- and you can download them for offline listening when you're traveling. I'm confident I consume more content on YouTube than any other streaming service that I subscribe to, so it's the last one I'd cancel in culling my streaming services. (And that's not a paid placement, it's just an honest admission.)

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I have listened to nearly all of the podcasts that have anything to do with Apple and there are a lot of good ones out there. My list of favorites are based on a balanced mix of perspectives and formats and is not just a list of the most popular ones. For that, you can go to the Apple Podcasts app and tap Search | Top Charts | All Categories | Technology. The composition of my list is similar for YouTube -- it's focused on a balanced diet of different perspectives and formats. 

The best thing about doing lists like this is that people love to disagree with you and tell you how you got it wrong. I'm here for it. If you have other podcasts or YouTube channels that you rely on for Apple analysis -- or if you disagree with any of the picks on my list -- let me know in the comments. 

Best podcasts

1.) MacBreak Weekly -- The best place to start if you're looking for a weekly roundup of Apple news and analysis is one of the longest-running Apple-focused podcasts, MacBreak Weekly. It still has Mac in the name because the Mac was the center of the Apple universe when it started in 2006, but it has always focused broadly on the whole Apple ecosystem. Leo Laporte and Alex Lindsay have been there since the beginning and there have been a long list of co-hosts who have done stints on the show, including Rene Ritchie, Justine Ezarik (see iJustine below), Luria Petrucci (Cali Lewis), Kiki Sanford, Amber MacArthur, and others. The current regular hosts along with Laporte and Lindsay are Andy Ihnatko and Jason Snell. The podcast combines humor from Laporte and Ihnatko with deep technical analysis from Lindsay and Snell (the former editor of MacWorld, who is also co-host on another excellent Apple-focused podcast called Upgrade). If you want one Apple podcast to listen to every week to catch up on the latest developments and get the best analysis, this is the one.

TWiT Network

2.) The Talk Show with John Gruber -- If you want to deeply understand the Apple ecosystem -- and the zeitgeist around it -- beyond all of the hype, spin, and flashing lights, then you have to listen to The Talk Show with John Gruber. While Gruber pokes fun at himself a lot, he has a very strong understanding of the technologies behind every Apple product and the way Apple operates since he's been covering the company for two decades on his site Daring Fireball and has deep connections within Apple and with key software developers and partners. The show happens twice a month and the format is a Gruber interview with one guest to talk about something timely. His guests include many of the journalists and hosts on this list, but also include developers and app makers you've never heard of but whose software you may have been using for years. The show is a winding road sometimes that occasionally takes detours to talk about baseball, movies, or old Apple products or events, but that's clearly by design and is part of its charm.

3.) The iMore Show -- The thing to love about The iMore Show is that it's focused around perspectives that aren't coming from the east coast or west coast of the US, where most of the voices in tech podcasts are based. As a result, this podcast has a more grounded take on the impact of Apple products on everyday people. The show's regulars like Karen Freeman (in Ohio) and John-Anthony Disotto (in Scotland) and Gerald Lynch and Daryl Baxter (in England) aren't hopping from the latest Apple review unit to the next but they evaluate Apple products based on their own 3-4 year upgrade cycles and through the eyes of family and friends thinking of upgrading or buying Apple devices for the first time. The fact that a couple of them also worked in Apple retail stores adds depth to their perspectives, too. 

4.) 9to5Mac Daily -- If you want a daily update on the latest Apple news in less than 10 minutes, 9to5Mac Daily delivers straight news and does a concise job of highlighting the most important Apple-related stories of the day. It's hosted by 9to5Mac editor in chief Chance Miller and delivers in the mid-afternoon on weekdays, so it's a great listen for your commute home. (Another alternative is AppleInsider Daily, which is a similar length and cadence but offers a more opinionated take on the news from Charles Martin and delivers in the mornings.)

5.) AppleInsider Podcast -- Speaking of AppleInsider, another weekly Apple podcast that focuses on analysis, but with a different take, is the AppleInsider Podcast. The best thing about this one is that host Stephen Robles has a very calm, non-bombastic vibe and he's a deep subject matter expert on Apple devices who always wants to share helpful tips and advice. And his co-hosts follow that lead. 

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YouTube channels

1.) iJustine -- While Justine Ezarik regularly refers to herself as the "No. 1 Apple fangirl" and is best known for her buoyant unboxings of new iPhones, Macs, iPads, and other tech gear, she has been covering Apple for over 15 years and understands the company and its products as well as anyone on this list. Her channel iJustine was one of the first and most successful Apple-focused YouTube channels and her longevity in offering high-quality reviews and unboxings of the latest Apple products is incredibly impressive. Justine's positivity and natural energy are one of the true breaths of fresh air on the internet and if you love Apple products then the design, production value, and creativity of her videos is a joy to watch. She's also an astute analyst, even though she never trashes a product. You can learn a lot by paying attention to the things she's not as enthusiastic about or barely mentions. Next to Apple's own channel, iJustine remains the HQ of Apple coverage on YouTube. 


2.) CNET -- Of course, you know I'm going to mention CNET since I used to run the team that does tech product reviews over there. CNET's YouTube channel continues to have the most comprehensive coverage of Apple products as well as the broader tech ecosystem. My former teammates Scott Stein, Lisa Eadicicco, Lexy Savvides, Patrick Holland, Bridget Carey, Abrar Al-Heeti, David Katzmaier, and others are some of the best tech journalists in the business. They are also subject matter experts on specific parts of the Apple ecosystem and they dive deep on Apple products to offer insightful analysis in a concise and approachable format. One big bonus for Apple fans is that CNET also has an Apple TV app that makes it super easy and a lot of fun to watch CNET videos in high quality on the biggest and best screen in your home.


3.) MKBHD -- No one gets more eyeballs on their coverage of Apple products than Marques Brownlee's MKBHD channel. And that's despite the fact that Marques has said many times that his primary phone is an Android and he's more embedded in Google's ecosystem than Apple's. Still, Marques carries an iPhone and wears an Apple Watch and tests and reviews virtually all the latest Apple gear. But since he's less of an Apple loyalist, he brings a balanced, naturally curious, slightly skeptical perspective to Apple's new product releases. And he clearly loves the video production process and brings a lot of polish, innovation, and unique flourishes to all of the videos he publishes. Like Justine, his videos are simply a joy to watch from a production standpoint. (And if you enjoy analysis from Marques, he and his team also have a solid podcast called Waveform.)

MKBHD/Marques Brownlee

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4.) Tech Things With Joanna Stern -- With the combination of fun antics and original reporting, Joanna Stern's videos at the Wall Street Journal have been entertaining and informing us for almost a decade -- and Apple is regularly one of her favorite topics. You can find all of her videos under the playlist Tech Things With Joanna Stern on the Wall Street Journal's YouTube channel. If you've never seen one of Joanna's videos, then I'll leave you with these two gems as examples: Does Apple's Crash Detection Work? We Totaled Some Cars to Find Out and the classic Apple's Faulty MacBook Butterfly Keyboard Explained... With Real Butterflies.

5.) MrWhosetheBoss -- For another great perspective outside of the SF/NY distortion field in the US, there's Arun Maini's MrWhosetheBoss channel from the UK. Arun is a YouTuber's YouTuber, with the bombastic thumbnails to prove it. But don't be fooled by the flashy colors and the bouncy theatrics, because Arun delivers highly insightful analysis, especially around phones. I also admire his hustle in getting reliable information and advice to his audience as quickly as possible. I saw this first-hand at the recent Apple Event, when Arun and his team and the ZDNET squad were the last two groups left in the press room that night -- over 10 hours after the event ended.

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