App of the week: Pocket Casts

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If you’re like me, you listen to a lot of podcasts, and you will know that it can be quite hard to keep track of what you have or haven’t listened to or what episodes are new. This week’s app of the week, Pocket Casts by Shifty Jelly, is perfect solution for Android users who want to keep track of all the different podcasts conveniently and easily. It automatically checks for new episodes and notifies you when new episodes pop through via RSS, and presents you with options to either stream or to download. The app will even delete any episodes which you have listened to automatically, and use smart playlists to isolate those episodes that you need to finish first. All this comes alongside a plethora of other useful features such as cross-platform subscription sync.

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On Android, the new version 4.0 follows the Holo guidelines to the letter, but manages to add its own flavour of red and white to the mix, making this one of the best looking apps I have ever used. While not quite as good-looking or feature-rich, the iOS version of the app still looks great. All in all, I seriously recommend this app to anyone who listens to podcasts.

Pocket Casts, Android (£2.70), iOS (£1.49)
Download from Google Play or the App Store

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Google Play Store v4.0 for Android leaks, bringing italicised text to Holo

Google Play 4.0

Kellex over at Droid-Life has obtained what is purported to be build 4.0.16 of the Google Play Store for Android, and this gives us our best hint yet of how Matias Duarte and company are planning to take Android’s design with the expected release of Android 5.0, codenamed Key Lime Pie, at Google I/O. In the 6 minute video below, Kellex shows off the functional parts of the new store (with many pages such as the home page not yet working with the new design) but what is evident is that the new version of the Holo design language is set to be a lot lighter and colourful than the black and blue introduced with Ice Cream Sandwich in October 2011, with italicised Roboto Light being used in headings for the first time. Contrary to Google Keep, a note-taking service that the company officially launched today with an overdose of yellow, responses to the new look seem overwhelmingly positive, and we will wait with baited breath to see what further UI overhauls Google may announce for Android, now under the reigns of Chrome and Apps head Sundar Pichai, at I/O in May.

Source Droid-Life