If there’s one gaping hole in the Android experience, it’s the significant lack of podcast support. Where Apple has built a podcast function right in to iTunes through which you can stream countless free shows, and Micosoft has done the same with its Podcasts app, Androids have no such feature. The Google Play store doesn’t even have a podcasts section.
"Wait!" You may say. "The Google All Access service has plenty of podcasts on it." That is true, but we’re not big fans of paying up to $1.60 per episode for podcasts that are not only free through other mediums, but were always intended to be free by their creators.
Enter Pocketcasts. It’s not a totally free app, but it doesn’t cost much and it’s absolutely worth it if you’re a podcast fan. By installing it you’re granting yourself access to an iTunes-esque range of apps, all free, with an easy-to-use and well-constructed User Interface (UI).
How it works
It’s all very simple. The main screen, called Discover, is filled with a grid of square tiles bearing the names and logos of well-known podcasts. You can also switch the view mode to Trending, Top and Top Videos.
You’ll probably be more interested in the search bar at the top of these screen at first. After all, if you’re here looking for an easy podcast solution then it’s a good bet you already have a few in mind.
At the top right is the menu button, the first option of which is simply titled Podcasts. This is where your subscriptions are kept in a similar tiled layout.
Going in to one of your subscriptions will display any recently-missed podcasts in black writing, and all previous episodes as greyed-out. This doesn’t mean you can’t access them, it’s just a way of showing the difference between old and new eps.
From here you can choose to stream an episode by tapping it, or download it for later listening by tapping the download icon to the right.
Tapping download on a greyed-out episode will fill it in and send it up to the top.
You can download two episodes at once, any extra selections will queue and automatically start when it’s their turn.
That’s basically it. There are other menu options for viewing by Unplayed or Downloaded, but the UI is fairly straight-forward and you should have no trouble figuring things out for yourself.
Have fun listening!