Pocket Casts 4 debuts on Android

Pocket Casts 4 debuts on AndroidIt’s not often that you see an (non-Google) app launch on Android before iOS. However Shift Jelly have today released Version 4 of Pocket Casts for Android, with its iOS cousin nowhere in sight.

And it’s a fairly dramatic update at that. Gone is the tired old iOS design, replaced by a much fresher, Holo inspired aesthetic featuring a sliding navigation tray and swipeable tabs.

Of particular note is the ability to sync your podcast listening across devices. This requires you to sign up with an email address, but should prove immensely useful to those who listen on both phones and tablets, or are constantly changing ROMs.

A much more visual Discover option should make it easier to find new content to listen to, with various catergories such as Featured, Popular, Top Videos and networks to browse through. There’s also support for Android tablets, notification curtain controls (yay!), a promised widget in the works and various other features including smart playlists and variable speed playback.

Overall, its a comprehensive update and (IMHO) could justifiably be sold as a brand new app. Pocket Casts was already one of the better (if ugly) podcasting apps on Android, and Version 4 could very well be the best.

It’s available now from the Play Store for devices running Gingerbread (2.3) and above, although ICS (4.0) is recommended. It’s a free update for existing users and £2.70 otherwise.

I’ve got my fingers crossed that Shift Jelly are well rewarded for their Android first strategy.