Podcast lovers take their listening hobby seriously. Just ask me. I got into the habit about 18 months ago and it has since become a bit of a daily addiction. Whether I'm driving, walking, taking care of chores, shopping, or doing any other menial activity, there's a set of buds in my ears and one of dozens of podcasts playing through. It makes for great entertainment and it can also be very educational.
Pocket Casts is one of the more attractive mobile podcast managers out there, and it's pretty accessible too. The Android app is easy to use, and with a cloud sync account, you can keep up with shows across numerous devices. Now the team is expanding functionality to the desktop as well. A web version of Pocket Casts is on its way, and it's currently available in a private beta.
You have to get permission to use the beta, but once in, here's what you see.
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.
Stitcher Radio has made the jump to version 3.2, and it's a pretty nice update. Ever start a podcast and wish you could come back to it later without having to search? The app's new "Listen Later" feature will take care of that problem. Just click on an episode and hit up the "Add to Listen Later" option that appears. You can then access it and other saved episodes from the sidebar.
Four days. Four days, fellow Google Reader pilgrims: that's how long you've got until Google turns its back on the RSS service forever. Apps that used to rely on Google Reader as a backend have switched to alternatives, usually Feedly's new and almost identical backend API. Popular podcast manager/player BeyondPod is the latest to do so, but in order to try it out, you'll have to leave the comforting confines of the Google Play Store for the treacherous waters of a non-Market Beta.
The old maxim "change or die" would seem to apply to apps and services left in the wake of Google Reader's upcoming shutdown. Popular RSS client GoodNews is exiting the Play Store, stage right, once Google Reader shuffles off the mortal coil on July 1st. The developer updated the Play Store description and the app's website with the news. Since Google Reader will not be functioning at all, this isn't your normal end-of-life app situation - development will cease, the GoodNews listing will disappear, the fat lady will sing.
The BBC iPlayer video application has been available to Android-totting Englishmen for some time, but the audio equivalent has sadly lagged behind. Today the app finally lands on Android, and it was worth the wait: BBC Licence Fee subscribers can listen to the various radio stations over WiFi or mobile Internet, and it even works when they travel abroad. Unfortunately, the service isn't available to international users at any price.
The interface of iPlayer Radio is an interesting mix of Holo elements and unique ideas, particularly a station selector that apes an old-school rotary phone dialer.
There are a number of popular podcast solutions on Android, but those apps are about to get some fresh competition with the release of Pocket Casts 4.0. This app has long had solid features, but it wasn't quite able get the same traction as Doggcatcher or BeyondPod. The new version might do the trick, though.
As with the old version of Pocket Casts, this app uses server-based refreshes to keep your podcasts updated.
The slew of deals coming out today just isn't stopping. Besides Google's coordinated End of Summer Sale, BeyondPod, an extremely popular podcast manager, is offering its full version unlock key for $1.99, down from the normal $6.99. A handy price drop after Listen was abruptly pulled from the Play Store. The key works for both the regular and tablet-oriented versions. This app is one of the more powerful podcast managers and is able to run on a wide selection of devices, including many Google TV boxes.