Saturday, November 15, 2014

BeyondPod - Update

About a year ago I was presenting one of my absolutely favorite apps to you: App introduction: BeyondPod.
Time went by but this app remains. It is still one of my favorite apps that I use at a daily base. As it got a major layout rework I wanted to show it off again.

A few weeks ago BeyondPod got a complete design rework. Not only the look is fresher now, also the navigation, controls and handling in general is more intuitive and fitting to the new Android Material Design.

What to Play

Starting BeyondPod will lead you directly into a list of your available content. There you see all new episodes, downloaded audio and video content as well as additional information about it.
You can simply start to play an entry here or add it to a playlist.

What to Play

Episodes already played or at least partially played are shown here as well but a bit grayed out and with an progress bar, showing how much of this episode has been played already.

Recently played
Once at least one entry is currently in the playlist, the player will be shown at the bottom of the screen and the amount of items within the playlist is shown at the top, next to the chromecast symbol. By the way, chromecast is very nice for consuming video podcasts at your TV ;-)

Taping on an entry will enlarge it and show more information.

Details about an entry


Pressing the Playlist button or swiping in from the right will show the playlist.
Here you can rearrange the order of the titles you want to consume them in, see how much time is left on each of them or even remove them.


My Feeds

Swiping in from the left or pressing the symbol in the top left corner will show all your subscriptions, the categories and the number of new episodes.


At the bottom of the list there are settings and other options to organize your feeds into categories, add new feeds and more.


There are tons of settings which I will not cover here in detail. Just let me say that I set it up to download the latest episodes of my subscribed podcasts every night and only when connected to a WiFi network. Also I set it up that only a specific amount of episodes is stored, older episodes will be replaced by newer.

Adding new feeds with lots of suggestions or by URL.


Swiping up from the bottom or just pressing on the small player preview in the "What to Play" screen will open the player itself.


Beside the usual features for play, pause, fast forward, fast backward, skip and progress indicator within the current episode, there are a few more interesting features.

The little car symbol will open a car view with larger controls to make it easier to find the right button.

In my opinion it's still not so great, in fact dangerous, to use a touchscreen while driving as you can't feel the buttons, you need to see them. So be careful when you do so (or better don't do so)!
Car controls

Then next to the car symbol there is a Sleep Timer, allowing to set a automatic stop after the current episode, a specific amount of time or to disable the sleep timer.

Sleep Timer

Last but not least, there is a control for the Playback Speed. This might sound a bit strange at first but when your listening to lot's of news and tech podcasts for example, it has it's benefit.
Actually the human can take and process information a lot faster than you can speak. It's the same mechanic as with speedreading and as the podcasts are recorded you can play them at a higher speed as they have been recorded with in the first place. BeyondPod allows to customize this setting for the player in general but also to set individual values for each episode you listen to.

Playback Speed

In my case, I listen to most podcasts in 1.5 speed which allows me to listen to more podcast content in shorter time. But I have one podcast (a very short one with a already fast speaking comedian) that I listen to in normal speed (1.0).
Once you got used to a bit faster speed on specific podcasts it will sound strange when you hear them in normal speed again ;-)


One year after my initial post about that app and about two years since I started to use it on a regular base have been past. Still, this is one of my most used apps at all. I use it about every day, mostly while I commute to keep myself up-to-date with the most recent and relevant topics in tech and world in general.
I don't want to miss it and the new layout and concept of usage is great, makes it even easier and more intuitive to use it.
For sure, if I had to restrict myself to 10 apps to use at my smartphone, this would be one of them.