BeyondPod has long been one of the top Android podcast managers, but it was definitely not tops in the looks department. The current version is okay, but it could use a fresh coat of paint. The new 4.0 beta is getting more than that, though. BeyondPod 4.0 has been rebuilt from the ground up with a completely new UI and a new name to go with it. BeyondPod is BeyondPod EVO now.

large Screenshot_2014-06-24-17-43-56 Screenshot_2014-06-24-17-44-07 Screenshot_2014-06-24-17-44-21

Just comparing the new app (above) to the current Google Play version (at the bottom), the difference is clear. The app is super-clean, with cards, a proper nav drawer, and a nice full-screen playback interface. The changelog posted on the beta download page (it's not being run through Google Play) is mostly about the visual and layout changes, but here it is.

  • Simple and faster navigation using a new, modern user interface. (Make sure to read our upgrade guide).
  • All feeds are neatly organized in categories and available from the new left navigation drawer.
  • Your playlist is easily accessible by swiping from the right screen edge (right drawer).
  • New full screen player with support for visualizations.
  • It is easier to navigate your playlist when driving or exercising with the new "car mode" player.
  • We also added support for multiple SmartPlay lists

I would add that it looks like tablet support is built into this one app now, rather than the two separate listings used in the v3.x app. The beta app is a trial just like the stable release. It gets all the pro features for a week, then you'll need a license. The app still has all the powerful features it had before, but it's much prettier. You should definitely check this out if you're a BeyondPod user.

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Current app

[BeyondPod Beta]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play.

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    It's still looks like a huge mess, and that icon...

    • http://tonybullard.com/ Tony Bullard

      I don't understand...what's so terrible about the icon?

      I just went through the beta for a few minutes, and I think it's actually a huge improvement. The way they've organized things is pretty easy to learn. Doesn't seem to be a "mess" at all.

      Truth is, though, I'm fine with BeyondPod being a little messier than other podcast apps. It's got functionality out the wazoo. Rather than fumbling around with the apop, I set up my feeds, set up the Smart Playlist, and I never touch it again except to hit pause or play.

      • Stylus_XL

        The icon is cheap looking and doesn't match the flatter iconography of the rest of the app.

      • ConCal

        it's a picture of a coffee cup with a pair of old iPod ear-buds wrapped around it. The Logo is hideous.

      • Daniel Collins

        Yeah, I kinda like the icon. Not the prettiest, but not terrible. It makes me think of coffee and hot chocolate. How can that be bad?

    • William Thieme

      They updated the icon in the latest beta and IMO it's very nice now.

  • David Margolin

    new version is very pocketcasty... especially the now playing screen

  • Enchante

    Won't let me install. Hot the install button and nothing happens. Is it because I am on 4.4.4?

  • Captain Canada

    This wrecks of 2011. I don't care if it can do more than Pocket Casts, this is hideous and needs to die. "EVO" lol, that icon lol, I'm highly disturbed.

    • Just_Some_Nobody

      You're highly disturbing...

  • Jeremy Sheehan

    I read somewhere a few weeks back that this was available, but I forgot. I'm digging the new design. Very sharp.

  • Guillaume

    I'm a heavy user of podcasts, and I Haven't used BeyondPod since I discovered PocketCasts. A lot more user-friendly, and I had no use for the extra BeyondPod features. This new UI looks nicer though.

    • Rami

      I love BeyondPod becuase of its Smart Playlist, a feature not found in PocketCasts that I can't live without.
      (You can make a personal algorithm for playlists, such as play the last 2 episodes from podcast A, then an old episode from podcast B, then 1 new episode from podcast C. and it makes a new playlist based on that...)

      I also hate how the sleep timer is done with PocketCast, I contacted them about it but their answer was silly, and did nothing about it.

      • Guillaume

        What's wrong with the PocketCast sleep timer? I use it from time to time, it works quite well

        • Rami

          When I set a timer, and I want to increase the value later, I have to reselect options -> sleep timer, remove the old one and then set a new one with a new value.

          With Beyond pod, 1 click set timer with default value, another click you get a list with extra values, or option to disable

      • http://tonybullard.com/ Tony Bullard

        I recently went looking for a new podcast app, as BeyondPod has been crashing my phone. Nothing else has that brilliant Smart Playlist feature, so I will forever be with BeyondPod.

        Listening to POdcasts any other way just seems archaic.

        • http://beyondpod.com BeyondPod Team

          Tony, Please contact us via email or our forum to troubleshoot this issue.

      • Josh

        I missed the smart playlist when I first switched to Pocketcasts from BeyondPod. But I didn't miss it for long since I liked the Pocketcasts UI and integrated variable speed much more than I missed the smart playlist.

        • Mathew Knoell

          Beyondpod has had variable speed playback for awhile. It's labeled as "BETA" in the settings but I haven't had a problem with it.

          • Josh

            Thanks. At the time I switched to PocketCasts I had to use the Presto plugin on BeyondPod and it was pretty buggy. I downloaded the BeyondPod beta to give it a try. Big step up in the UI from what it was! I'm not sure if it will pull me away from PocketCasts, but I'm checking it out.

    • atlouiedog

      I tried just about every single podcast app for Android and couldn't stand any of them. They all had some glaring issue that made for a bad experience with my podcast consumption. I didn't try out PocketCasts because it had no trial. A little over a year ago they released a big update that got some press and I decided to take a shot with it and was really impressed. I wish I'd found it earlier because it was so far ahead of the other apps for my heavy podcast consumption. I also found just about every other app available at the time to be really ugly, though that's secondary to how they work. At least BeyondPod is nicer now.

    • Robert

      Came here ti say this. BeyondPod's UI was terrible with a lot of unnecessary features so I switched to PocketCasts. This is too little too late to make me switch back

    • numpty

      I like PocketCasts, but it's certainly not great. Too many features hidden behind inconsistently implemented swipey things, menu items that should appear on every screen but actually only appear on one and you can never remember which one, etc.

  • Chris Pohlad-Thomas

    This is seriously making me reconsider my podcatcher...

  • jim

    There are few apps I use more often than Beyondpod. Spent the last couple hours with this new beta and it's terrific.

  • rmkilc

    The number one reason I have refused to give BeyondPod a shot in the past is because they have a separate app for tablets. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. There is no reason to do this. I take full credit for convincing SwiftKey to go away from this practice. BTW, PocketCasts is where it's at.

    • dangerdad

      The tablet app is crap, but nothing prevents the normal phone app from running (and working better than the tab app).

    • Mathew Knoell

      This update unifies it into one app

    • dangerdad

      I gave PocketCasts a try after seeing the praise here. Uninstalled with refund. Vastly inferior to BeyondPod IMO, even with BP's bugs.

    • http://beyondpod.com BeyondPod Team

      You can already use BP3.x on a tablet if you prefer. BP 4.x will become a single app for both phone and tablet.

  • iSadic™

    Just in time for the Google restyling lol

  • dangerdad

    I just wish BeyondPod would stop refreshing the UI and fix the bugs. When they "refreshed" the UI to the current non-beta program (IIRC, in the 2.9-ish versions) it began crashing left and right on my older phone, probably because it became so much more memory hungry.

    Just yesterday, though, I refreshed my podcasts, and one feed showed "75 new episodes" (which I knew wasn't true). I looked at the list of eps, and it showed old-dated episodes. I backed out again to the feed list and then it showed "no new episodes" (which was correct this time).

    It does this all the time. Some podcasts routinely forget which episodes have been listened to.

    To the people recommending PocketCasts, does have a built-in speed adjustment so I can listen to slow-paced episodes at 1.2x or so?

    • http://beyondpod.com BeyondPod Team

      Please contact support by email or on our forum.

  • wekebu

    Use BeyondPod 4-5 hours daily. Great for podcasts.

  • ConCal

    now they need to change the logo.

  • Daniel Collins

    Wow, they really made this look better.

  • Alvin Brinson

    Can it keep synchronized between multiple devices? I've been using cloud sync on Doggcatcher Beta for ages, and it's vital for my "playflow".. I can seamlessly switch from device to device and have the same podcasts queued/marked off on both devices.

    I guess since I've been a Doggcatcher listener since the dark ages of Android, I'm a bit hesitant now to try anything else. Back then, BeyondPod wasn't even close in terms of features.

    • http://beyondpod.com BeyondPod Team

      Yes: enable EpisodeSync in the settings.

  • vmry2

    Does anyone know if it it will be a new app since developers have changed the name? Or will it be available to current license holders as an update?

    • http://beyondpod.com BeyondPod Team

      The unified app will be a straight update from the current phone version. The old 3.x tablet version will require an uninstall and reinstall, but you can back up your settings in BP and restore them after the new version is installed, and your licence (if you have the paid version) is valid for both versions anyway.

      "EVO" in the name is temporary, while it's in beta.

      • vmry2

        Thank you. I'm looking forward to 4.0. I use BeyondPod daily and appreciate that it always works without any hiccups.

  • http://beyondpod.com BeyondPod Team

    Just for the record, the name change is temporary, allowing users to have both the current and beta version on the device at the same time, and to be able to distinguish between them. It will revert to just BeyondPod on release.

    The beta version will be rolled out to the Play Store beta channel in a week or two, but we wanted to stage this more gradually, first with invited testers, then via the website, and finally via the Play Store beta channel.

    This is very much still a work in progress. We welcome feedback about the new version on the forum at http://www.beyondpod.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?11-BeyondPod-4-x-Evolution-Beta

    The icon will be updated before release of 4.x.

    BP 4.x will be a unified phone and tablet version. The tablet version (BeyondPod HD) will be deprecated, and eventually unpublished.

    on behalf of BeyondPod Support

    • Poddy

      Hmmm. I installed the beta on my S4 and it replaced my existing paid BP app.

      • http://beyondpod.com BeyondPod Team

        If you want to run them in parallel, you have to have BP 3.x phone version + 4.x "tablet" version, or vice-versa. (There is no difference between the universal version and the tablet version in 4.x, other than the application ID).

        There are a number of things you need to be aware of to run both in parallel (such as only one of them should download your podcasts, and the implications for kitkat devices if you store your podcasts on external storage).

        Running in parallel IS possible, but non-trivial, which is why simply updating your existing app is the norm. Please post in the forum for help on how to do it, if that's what you want to do.

  • dhinged

    It looks like they're stripping out features and oversimplifying. It's all about what it can do and how easily it can do it. If this takes away features I use and adds more steps to things, it's not an improvement.