Few months ago I was introduced to the realm of podcasts, at the time I didn’t have the slightest idea what podcasting is…I would rather explain it as….stumbling upon the world of podcasing. So what did I find there… well….. some great podcasts and a greater number of crappy podcasting applications. Few were very good but then their design language resembled as if they were created in 80’s.
For me, functionality and a great design go hand in hand if an app has to stay on my smartphone for a longer period of time. Now Play store is filled with hundreds of podcasting apps and I downloaded almost all of them but not a single one of them had the attributes of both great functionality and a great design.
Hours of digging and downloading bore no fruit. Although I’ve to admit, my search was limited by my shyness from the paid apps. (Disclaimer: I don’t pay for apps unless I absolutely need them) I mostly rely on free and add supported versions.
So finally I decided to widen my horizon and cross the line over to the paid arena. Guess what did i find there……Pocket Casts!!! A gem of an app, sitting silently and winning the hearts and minds of those who choose to pay for it. In fact I am going a step further and say that its the best podcasting app till date.
The design is simply gorgeous and easy on the eyes. Its well in line with the Android design guidelines. You get the holo UI with two themes, dark and light, whichever suits you. Its simple yet powerful, and app is very easy to navigate. The sliding drawer from the left contains multiple tabs, like discover and your saved podcasts. Below that you get the playlists according to downloaded, video only and audio only. More playlists can be added too.
One feature that really hooked me was the smart playlist feature. In smart playlists you get to specify the podcasts and when the new episode is available it will be automatically downloaded and saved, and once you have listened to all downloaded podcasts, they will be deleted to reserve the memory of you phone. But worry not, you can turn it off if you want to keep your downloaded podcasts.
It also has syncing and backup feature, meaning all your podcasts are backed up and saved. And when you sign in, all your podcasts are synced automatically, and it works across platforms such as iOS and Android. And trust me that’s a relief. For someone who changes smartphones regularly, this can be a life saver.
Pocket casts also comes with the native variable playback speed feature. You can adjust the speed at which you want you podcasts to stream. Its a really handy feature for those who need it. You also get the playback controls in the notification center and lock-screen when the app is running, which makes it easy to navigate while running in the background. It comes with a single widget with usual play/pause and forward, backward buttons. Nothing special there.
These are only few features that I’ve mentioned here, this app contains loads more. If you can come to terms with the price tag it comes with, you are surely going to fall in love with it. If you are a podcast lover then this app is heaven for you. It might just never leave your smartphone again, provided the developers keep up the great work. I must say that this app is well worth the money you will pay for it. There is no other app that comes close to Pocket Casts in terms of design, simplicity, ease of use and powerful interface and functionality. It has all the features you will find in all the other apps combined and you get it all in a beautifully crafted interface which is surely going to blow your mind.
Verdict: Strongly recommended!
Link: Pocket Casts