Pocket Casts for Android leaps over the competition in latest update

Daniel Bader

February 27, 2013 10:09am

Looking for a podcasts app that aligns with your Holo design guideline sensibilities? After more than six months of development, Australian software house Shifty Jelly has released Pocket Casts 4.0, a complete visual and feature overhaul of the popular app.

The redesign comes after an interesting statement from the developers; they sell five times more Android versions than on iOS, likely because the competition is so much higher (and there is no first-party solution on Android like there is on iOS). It’s one of the first stories we’ve heard about a developer choosing to release an app on Android first, knowing it will earn more money.

Like many other redesigned Android apps, Pocket Casts utilizes a horizontal swipe navigation scheme alongside a left slide-out menu for quickly changing between categories. You can control your own feeds or use the extensive Discover section to find new content; the curated lists are populated based on category, and show off most of the best fare available.

Playback has been dramatically improved, too. You can adjust the rate of play, or skip forward or back just by tapping the right or left side of the screen. The player is fully headset control capable, which a nice bonus, and works nicely on the Android 4.0+ lock screen.

Screenshot_2013-02-27-09-45-23 Screenshot_2013-02-27-09-45-00


Pocket Casts for Android is a great update — free for existing users, natch — and a steal at $4.19CDN. It beats the competition like DoggCatcher and BeyondPod in many ways, including price, and is definitely worth checking out.

Download Pocket Casts for Android.

Via: Shifty Jelly

  • daveloft

    It’s awesome, but it lacks a few key features like syncing with Google reader, widgets and heavy customization.

    It also could use some tweaking on the UI for tablets. When in the discovery section it uses the same 2 column wide view on phones and tablets and it just looks bad on tablets. But the rest of the UI works well.

    The big thing it has over the competition is their custom built syncing. The position within the podcast is marked and synced between devices. This is definitely the apps killer feature and gives it a slight edge over the competition.

  • wunderbar

    the inability to add custom URL’s for any podcast that doesn’t make their curated list and the lack of a widget erase literally every other good thing about this update. I was really looking forward to pocket casts 4.0 becuase of the syncing feature, but if I can’t add the podcasts that I actually listen to the ability to sync is moot.

    3 steps forward, two back unfortunately.

    • Mike

      Go to the discovery/add a feed pane, click search and paste the podcast URL into the search box. It will add any custom feed URL.

      Source: the built-in FAQ page.

  • Podcast player

    Will it play audio from a video Podcast with the screen off?

    • daveloft

      Yes. I just tested it out and can confirm it can play video with screen off. Which is awesome for the few video only podcasts or if you want the option to do both.

  • Steven Schwartz

    I have owned this since they launched it has been literally one of my daily driver apps. I travel excessively and listen to at least 30 different podcast a week I am very, very happy with this update to a already amazing app.

  • nexus

    I already spent 5 bucks on beyond pod. (Long ago) don’t think I’d spend another 4 for another podcast app. Bit beyond pod looks exactly the same when I downloaded it using my captivate.

  • 45

    How does it compare to DoggCatcher?

  • daveloft

    It doesn’t seem to auto-download the podcasts and there is no setting for this. Can anyone confirm this? And if true how did they miss this?

  • Graham

    I’ve been using Google Listen/Google Reader. It’s a bit clunky on the phone, but I like that it syncs easily between devices and desktop, and it’s built in to the Google ecosystem.

    Is there an argument for switching to this? Does it make it easier to download podcasts to the device for offline repeated listening through Play Music or something similar (my usual desire for music podcasts)?


    • daveloft

      The only thing that makes it better is it not only syncs, podcasts and podcasts read but also podcast position. So you can listen to part of it when your out on your phone and then easily resume at home on your tablet. If you don’t use more than one device to listen to podcasts then it’s not worth switching. At least not till they update the app and add some of the missing features.

  • Senk

    Built in variable speed playback FTW!

    As far as I know it’s the only podcatcher with this feature built in. It’s a must-have for me. Now I can finally ditch my iPod for good.

    I emailed BeyondPod recently asking if this feature was in the works for them and I was told they had no plans to add it.