Focus On: Pocket Casts

Focus On is a series of posts which, well, ‘focus on’ one particular thing from any number of genres or sectors. There are lists aplenty out there which order the ‘best’ entries in any given category, the intention of these posts are to highlight one of those and what makes it great.

Pocket Casts is an app with one apparently simple job to do, to manage and play your podcasts. Made by the good folks over at Shifty Jelly, Pocket Casts is, in my opinion, the finest way you can possibly consume your favourite podcast shows.

It’s real puuuurdy

One of the main things about Pocket Casts which is immediately appealing is the care and attention which has gone into the UI. Whether you’re on iOS, Android or Window Phone – Pocket Casts has been built with the OS design guidelines front of mind. I’ve always felt that no matter the mobile platform you’re calling home, it’s a real boon when the apps which you use and love fit with the look and feel you’re used to.

For myself on Android, the use of motion and animation is fantastic and really fits the Material design guidelines set out by Google. The same hooks and visual cues are in effect on both iOS and Windows Phone, too.

All in all, using the app is a real pleasure and moving from screen to screen is snappy and enjoyable.

Pocket Casts is feature rich

To be fair, podcast apps are hardly Swiss army knives. Playing the podcasts is, naturally, a large part of the app. It’s easy and intuitive.

There are certainly a number of other handy features included though. It’s easy to find older episodes of podcasts which you’re following as well as mark as read any episodes which you don’t want to watch or listen to there and then.

Serial on Pocket Casts

There’s also the option to search for new podcasts which you may be interested in and add them to your library. From there on in the app will take your settings and ensure it downloads (or not) as many items as you define.

It’s possible to set sleep timers, queue numerous episodes and easily scrub forwards and backwards through the audio. All sound like simple enough features but when stacked together, it makes for a feature rich product.

App updates are fun

Something which sets Pocket Casts apart from the competition is the way in which they present their app updates.

App updates are, for the most part, not something which people generally look forward to taking a look at when they see them in their notification shade. They’re not particularly stimulating.

Shifty Jelly eschew this trend and make their updates fun and engaging. Take this most recent example for instance.

What’s New
We’re back! Did you miss us? We kinda missed you a bit. We did have a shiny Material Design Award to keep us company though, so you know, it wasn’t all bad. We’ve stopped fondling it (don’t judge us, you would have too!) for long enough to bring you all an update!
If you love browsing, and you love Pocket Casts, you’ll love browsing Pocket Casts on your Android Wear device! It’s worth buying one just for this. Do it.
This release has plenty of fixes in it too, because we know you love those.

Hilarious, ain’t it.

Where you can get Pocket Casts

As mentioned, Pocket Casts is available on both of the major mobile operating systems as well as Windows Phone. Inexplicably, Pocket Casts is priced differently depending on the platform. It’s all pocket change and it’s all well worth it.

Download them here:

iOS – £2.99

Android – £2.49

Windows Phone – £2.69

You can also follow Pocket Casts on Twitter, if that’s your thang.

 


 

James Oliver

I have a keen interest in anything from the original Star Wars trilogy through to the Star Wars Expanded Universe – as well as everything that encompasses. Mostly interested in things which fly or make noise (ideally both), I like playing with new gadgets and buying phones on a whim.

  • spatchmo

    Nice post Olly, I’ve never listened to a pod cast before, ever, might have to have a look and see whats available.

    • Well I’m planning a follow up to this which goes into a particularly fine example!