Pocket Casts for Android Review
Podcasts are increasing in popularity. Last year, Edison Research released their findings on how much podcasts have grown as a new form of media consumption. Since 2006, it appears that the number of people who were aware about podcasts jumped from 22% to 45%, which is more than a 100% increase! Thus, as mobile devices continue to become an integral part of our daily lives, the need for a good podcast app for iOS and Android can no longer be ignored – the latest and best we have tried and like a lot is none other than ShiftyJelly’s Pocket Casts.
Pocket Casts is a neat and ultra sexy mobile app that lets you listen and watch your favorite audio and video podcasts on your handheld device. The app’s UI is great on iOS but it is absolutely stunning on Android! The color scheme (black, gray and white) and layout makes the app stand out against its competitors. Regardless of whether you view it in portrait or landscape orientation the app is real eye-candy, a pleasure to look at.
The main navigation panel is located on the left side and occupies about one-third of the screen in landscape view. It automatically disappears in portrait view but can be made to appear by swiping rightward from the left side of your touch screen. The icons are colorful and intuitive, the fonts are easy to read, and its responsiveness is very smooth.
The main screen does a marvelous job of rendering podcast logos. These images are neatly displayed tiled one after the other. Podcasts with episodes you have not viewed or listened to contain a red triangular tag and a number on the upper right corner of the logo (which looks exactly like when you dog ear a page in a book to mark your place). The number, of course, indicates how many broadcasts are in queue for your listening and viewing pleasure.
These podcasts can be sorted in various ways: date added from oldest to newest or vice-versa, alphabetically in descending or ascending order, and by latest episodes.
Pocket Casts does all the basics you would expect from a podcast app. It lets you search for podcasts you like, subscribe to them, and either stream or download them. Aside from these, Pocket Casts also has a “Discover feature” which allows you to browse featured and popular podcasts, top video podcasts, and podcast networks. You can also choose to search and view podcasts by categories.
The app does a great job in playing video casts but what is really great is that it lets you toggle a video to audio when you need to, and then back again! This is quite handy especially when something or someone needs your immediate attention and you don’t want to stop listening to a certain episode.
You can also choose the starting point of each podcasts to prior being played. Skip the intros and go straight to the meaty content! Another good feature is that if you missed or failed to hear some word or phrase, you can go back by 10 seconds decrements and listen again or, if it’s time for some advertising, skip ahead by 30 second increments. These are just defaults, by the way. You can easily change them through the app’s settings.
The app comes with a lock screen widget which works well. This widget displays the podcast logo you are listening to along with the usual rewind, pause, and forward buttons.
A very useful feature is the Smart Playlist feature. The app already comes with four default playlists: Unplayed, Audio, Video, and Downloaded. The Smart Playlist feature lets you create and customize your own list of podcast episodes. You can choose to list partially played, video episodes or auto download starred episodes with this functionality.
Podcasts you are listening to can also be accessed through your notifications. And when you are busy doing something else, you can have the app automatically alert you of new podcast episodes (with or without vibration).
These and a lot more features like syncing, auto-deleting played or downloaded episodes, etc. are available to you through this great, one of a kind, podcast app.
This is one great app that has almost everything you could ask for in a podcast player. With a drop-dead gorgeous interface, fast and smooth functionality, and a host of very useful features, this app is a bargain at $3.99 from the Play Store (if you want the iOS version, get it for $1.99 from the App Store). ShiftyJelly did a fantastic job designing and putting in a lot of very well-thought of features. This app gets our highest rating – 5 stars!