3 Reasons Pocket Casts is the most used application on my Android devices

BY Rita El Khoury

Published 11 Apr 2014

pocketcasts What’s the most used application on your phone? For some, it’s WhatsApp or an alternative messaging application, for others, it’s Twitter or Facebook, it might also be the browser or music player, Gmail or YouTube, or whatever game you’re addicted to. For me, it’s Pocket Casts, a podcast client. Here, I’ll explain to you why I use it at least 2 to 3 hours everyday. A year ago, almost to the day, I decided to start listening to podcasts. Our own Steve Litchfield had been clamoring podcasts for years, I even appeared as a guest on some of his Phones Show Chat episodes, and I knew many blogs had a weekly show. I was, however, not yet sold on the benefit of listening vs reading. What pushed me to give podcasts a try was an average daily commute time of 90 minutes and the local radio stations playing more ads and rubbish competitions than music. Those 90 minutes felt like lost time and I had to gain them back somehow. Since I couldn’t read while driving, audio was my only solution and Podcasts seemed like a “good enough” thing to try. Fast forward a year, and I’m a podcast addict.

1. Podcasts are awesome

Podcasts are like radio shows, except they’re on-demand since you can listen to them whenever you want and skip the parts you are not interested in. They’re subscription-based, so you always get notified when a new episode of your show is available. And they’re varied, from general knowledge to technology, comedy, music, science, etc. There’s a podcast for everything. Another benefit of podcasts is that you can listen while driving, exercising, doing chores, walking around the mall, and so on. However, you have to take your time and pick topics that interest you, subscribe to some shows and give them a listen. You’ll often unsubscribe and look again until you find shows you enjoy listening to. Better than reading posts, podcasts are personal and will give you a peek behind the curtain of most of your favorite writers and blogs. There’s more authenticity and a lot more personality in a voice than in a few words on a page, and this is what appeals to me in podcasts. My personal favorite podcasts include: AllAboutAndroid, AndroidPolice, Daily Knowledge Podcast, Freakonomics Radio, BBC Health Check, NPR Technology, NPR TED Radio Hour, Phones Show Chat, The PocketNow Weekly, RadioLab, NPR Science, 361 Degrees, TED Talks Video, The Voicemail, This American Life, The People’s Pharmacy, and NPR Your Health.


Whatever your interest, there’s probably a podcast for that

2. All those features!

Now that I’ve sold you on the benefit of podcasts, here’s why I picked Pocket Casts as my client of choice. First of all, the app is modernly and beautifully designed. It’s one of the most enjoyable app experiences on Android, and trust me, I’ve tried my fair share of apps. Pocket Casts also packs dozens of useful features, among which:

  • Smart Playlists to organize your podcasts like you see fit. For example, I have a Tech, Science and General playlists.
  • Scheduled Updates to set downloads for the night, when the phone is charging.
  • Up Next to arrange the upcoming episodes and find a queue of podcasts that suit your mood.
  • Variable play speed, to tolerate those slow speakers and awkward pausers.
  • One account to sync your progress across devices.

The episode card in Pocket Casts is one of the app’s beautiful and functional elements

3. Chromecast support

Pocket Casts added Chromecast support recently and that has significantly improved the app for my usage. I subscribe to the TED Talks Video channel, because I love their norm-challenging aspect and educational value, and I tried the dedicated TED Android app but didn’t like it. Before this update, I used to watch TED talks on my tablet. It was quite a nice experience, but casting them to my TV thanks to the Chromecast feature is an even better one. I can often be found binging on 5-10 TED talks in a row because it is quite a seamless experience to click that cast button, sit on the couch and enjoy watching and learning.

What’s your most-used Android app? Is it a podcast client, a game, or another type of application?