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App Highlight: Pocket Casts

Pocket Casts is an app for listening to, discovering and managing podcasts. This post will focus on the Android version, which is available on the Google Play Store for $3.99.

Over the years I've used several podcast apps but have stuck with Pocket Casts for two reasons. The first is that it is cross-platform. It has an iOS version and a recently launched desktop web app that make listening to podcasts across multiple platforms seamless.  The other reason is the app's design.  The app is beautifully designed and the developer frequently updates it to make it fit in with the current UI decisions of the platform itself.

From discovering new podcasts to downloading (or streaming) ones that you're already subscribed to, Pocket Casts makes the entire process elegant and intuitive.  If you're new to listening to podcasts, it has a Discover section where you can view what podcasts are popular in different genres.  You can even browse through podcast networks so that all shows on that network are available in a single view.  No matter how you discover a podcast, a full show description is available and you just tap a button to subscribe to ones you like.  Once subscribed, you can select how many downloaded episodes to keep and you can have all new episodes automatically download any time you are connected to WiFi.  It makes managing podcast updates something you never have to think about. 

The player interface is designed with advanced users in mind, however, the careful placement of controls doesn't overburden even the casual listener. It makes accessing things like show notes (which allows links to be opened), the Up Next playlist and playback speed controls accessible, but not distracting. Podcast artwork is front and center in this view and it is presented beautifully.

Here's a short demo of the app so you can see some of the features mentioned above in action: