For years people have sat around listening to others chat about a varied range of topics on the radio. The invention of the podcast changed the way that many listen to such conversations and gave us the ability to hear said recordings where and whenever we want.
Of course, what is needed to enable this on demand listening is a decent podcast player. For iOS there is the official Apple Podcast player, Instacast as well as Downcast. For Android however the waters are a little murkier.
The official Google podcast app, Google Listen has been discontinued and lets be honest it wasn’t up to much anyway.
There are others available, Doggcatcher probably being the most notable however I never really got on with this one and so my search for a new player began.
Enter PodKicker Pro.
Podkicker Pro is a fully featured Android podcast app from independent developer Jakob Eriksson.
Podkicker is designed around Google’s Android style guide and presents with a clean fresh interface. The app is divided into 4 different sections, these being Channels, Episodes, Downloads and Playlist.
Channels is the list of your podcast subscriptions, this screen gives the ability to add a channel, either manually with the feed address, by searching, from Google Reader subscriptions, via import from Google Listen, from an OPML backup file, via recommendations based on current subscriptions or via a map of local podcasts.
Also on this screen is the option to manually refresh the podcasts.
The Episodes section lists the last 200 episodes from your subscription. Selecting any episode from this screen will give the title, date and description as well as the percentage that has been listened to. Also included is the option to play the podcast from either within or outside of Podkicker Pro.
The Downloads screen details which podcasts you have downloaded and offers the option to manually add them to the playlist. Items added to the playlist appear in orange whilst items not added are white. This screen gives the ability to delete old or listened to podcasts.
Finally the Playlist section lists the podcasts that have been downloaded and perhaps unsurprisingly added to your playlist. This screen also features the podcast player and the option to put the app into car mode.
The Settings screens show the amount of detail and attention that has been paid to the development of the app. Included is a sleeptimer, options to refresh on startup and charge or periodically, whether to auto download or show notifications. In fact, there is a plethora of different settings that make Podkicker Pro really stand out.
In actual use Podkicker Pro is ultra reliable. Downloads are always picked up promptly and downloaded at speed. The player works flawlessly, remembering your last listened position when exiting and upon resumption. Downloads can be automatically added to the playlist and virtually everything can be automated whilst the addition of a car mode is incredibly useful.
To summarise, Podkicker Pro is THE best podcast app I have seen on any platform. Its flexibility and reliability is unsurpassed. As mentioned, it follows the Android design guidelines and therefore is a pleasure to look at and to use. This one is certainly on the must download list.
Podkicker Pro is available from Google Play priced at £2.36