The Friday App Clinic: Podcast Players

The Friday App Clinic: Podcast Players


>>Reto Meier: Good afternoon everyone and
welcome to the Friday App Clinic. This week, after enduring Ian’s constant switches to
himself on producer cam, we’ve decided to make life a little easier and just have him
on the show so welcome to the App Clinic, Ian.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Thank you very much. I’m also
joining just cause I, this week’s topic is podcast players and I am inveterate podcast
listener, I really enjoy podcasts. Although I’ve also, because of the, let’s just say
the characteristics of the apps we’re looking at this week and how I feel about them. I’ve
also brought my friend Big Pete and any time I get so frustrated that I just wanna drive
my phone through my head because the podcast player UI is so bad, I’ll be taking a drink.>>Reto Meier: So expect Ian to be pretty drunk
by the end of today’s episode. That is a spoiler alert.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Exactly.>>Reto Meier: So, like Ian said, we’re looking
at podcast apps today. We’ve got a wide variety of apps to choose from. I think we have something
like 8 or 9 apps that we’re nominated in the moderator queue this week.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Oh, there were far more than
that [Laughter]
>>Ian Ni-Lewis: It’s just that we had to draw the line somewhere.>>Reto Meier: I think we passed out somewhere
around the 8 or 9 mark. So that’s as far as we’re gonna try and go>>Daniel: 12>>Reto Meier: 12?>>Daniel: I’ve got 12 but you guys can do
as many as you like.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Great.>>Reto Meier: I don’t think we’re gonna get
through 12.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: We made Daniel make title
cards for 12. [Laughter]>>Reto Meier: That’s right.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Thanks, Daniel. [Inaudible]>>Reto Meier: We’ve also got, so we’ve got
Daniel who’s doing the engineering for us today, we’ve got App Clinic veteran, Fred
Chung, who’s gonna be helping us out as our producer. So if you have any questions, comments,
anything that you wanna pass on to us during the show please let us know in the comment
stream for the G Plus event and Fred will pass those along to us.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Yeah, let’s switch to the
producer cam, shall we? Fred cam!>>Fred Chung: Fred cam coming up! [Cheering]>>Fred Chung: Fred cam! Fred cam!
[Laughter]>>Reto Meier: Excellent and you’ve even got
the shocked and surprised producer on camera look down.
[Laughter]>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Excellent.>>Reto Meier: Perfect so let’s, Ian, we’ve
got somewhere up to 12 apps to look at today so let’s kick off. Let’s get started.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Right, so just to get started
here let’s talk about what a podcast player should do.>>Reto Meier: Absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: What do we use podcast players
for?>>Reto Meier: I mean, really, I like to think
of podcast players as basically being music players except instead of music it’s all spoken
word. My idea of kind of the perfect version of the media, of the music player is something
which is gonna let you listen to both your own music and the radio, switching between
them.>>Ian NI-Lewis: Right.>>Reto Meier: I don’t think that media player
quite exists yet, so that’s another wish list for you guys, but for podcasts that should
be possible, right?>>Ian Ni-Lewis: I think it should. Now let
me just add something because I wanna take this up one level. Let’s not talk about just
the features, let’s talk about how we use it and, for me, it’s in the car.>>Reto Meier: Indeed, indeed. I think that’s
probably the most common used place for podcast players. It’s going to be people that are
commuting whether it’s in your car or in the train and we’re in California, here, so I’ve
had to get used to driving to work again.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: I think, for me, anytime that
I have the ability to sit down and read something, I would much rather read. So the only time
I want a podcast is when I have to keep my eyes on something else, like the road.>>Reto Meier: The road, yeah, it’s generally
considered helpful.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: With that in mind, I’ve noticed
that a great many of podcast players just don’t actually work very well in the car.>>Reto Meier: That’s an interesting point.
I mean, let’s take it up another level and say, well, what is the perfect podcast app?
What is it that you’d really like to see which would cause you not to drink because frankly,
if podcast apps make you drink and you like to use podcast players while you’re driving,
this is not a good message.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Believe me; the California
Department of Transportation has actually been very clear with me on that point.
[Laughter]>>Reto Meier: I’m not surprised, absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: So why don’t we take a look
at that list?>>Reto Meier: Please, yeah, can you put that
list up for us Daniel?>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Notice that angry baby wants
very much for podcast players to fit into these particular, what would you call them?
Recommendations?>>Reto Meier: Yeah, absolutely. Best practices
for, or it’s a wish list, right? It’s a developer wish list for podcast apps.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Absolutely. We put angry baby
up there because that’s kind of how I felt after looking at 12 of these this morning.>>Reto Meier: There are some good ones.>>Ian NI-Lewis: There actually are>>Reto Meier: Absolutely>>Ian NI-Lewis: There are some good ones.
I don’t think we found a perfect one.>>Reto Meier: No, but I think if you took
all the best things from each of these you’d have a pretty kick ass app. So I think that’s
where we’ll, hopefully, get to by the end of this is to encourage each of the developers
here to build apps which make all of them awesome.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: I noticed that part of what
makes a great podcast is just what makes a great synchronized app in general. Anything,
anytime that you’re bringing information from the internet to the user’s device that should
be as transparent as possible. You know, Reto had a great talk at Google IO about making
apps magical and making it feel like you’re always connected to this wonderful well of
information at very high speeds even though we know that over the past, Google connection
isn’t always a hundred percent reliable or speedy. So, the first thing that a podcast
player needs to do is make sure that it has good synchronizations, something that’s transparent>>Reto Meier: Absolutely>>Ian Ni-Lewis: in the background, something
that the user doesn’t have to worry about or fuss with. And I think that some of these
podcast apps did a reasonably good job of that, others maybe not so much. Why don’t
we take a look at some of the first ones here? We’ll say, for instance, DoggCatcher. You
wanna switch over to that?>>Reto Meier: Yeah, let’s have a look at DoggCatcher.
DoggCatcher’s a really popular one so I’ve asked people a few times cause we actually
have a podcast of Android developer live office hours which we put out there and we actually
put all of the Google IO sessions as podcasts as well. So I asked people, you know, what
are the podcast apps that you recommend? And DoggCatcher was actually amongst the very
top, so this is an app that a lot of people like. Can we get the tablet on screen as well
then? Perfect.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: So, DoggCatcher starts out
with a quick set of configuration options and I’m fine with this, okay, fine I wanna
keep a couple episodes of each podcast, alright, I guess I better accept the EULA, hopefully
it doesn’t commit me to anything too terrible. Then it shows feeds playing audio video news.
So I somewhat like that. Okay, I’ve got some feeds.>>Reto Meier: That seems reasonable, you’ve
got a nice tablet UI via tablet, I’m liking that.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Let me click on something
and then play it. Well, now that’s interesting. It just told me no episode is loaded, playlist
is empty. Well, obviously I just clicked on this, right?>>Reto Meier: Absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Now I do like one thing about
DoggCatcher is, what’s the most obvious set of controls on this? What is the thing that
catches your eye more than anything else?>>Reto Meier: I would like to say that it’s
the play, fast forward, etcetera buttons on the bottom.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: I agree with you completely.
Would it surprise you to know that many podcast apps
[Laughter]>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Do not make that easy to access?>>Reto Meier: Well, having just looked at
12, no it wouldn’t surprise me. It may surprise some of you.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: One of the things that you
should probably think about when you design a user interface is what will your users spend
the most time doing? And if your application is listening to podcasts, you might think
that listening might be one of the things that you wanna have front and center but some
of these apps don’t have transport buttons readily accessible, some of them are too small,
some of them move all over the screen.>>Reto Meier: Excellent.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: And I found at least one where
it was hidden away in a context menu. [Laughter]>>Reto Meier: A context menu to be able to
play, interesting.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: yeah.>>Reto Meier: Very interesting.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: That’s the thing with context
menu is we’ve got a bunch on here. I don’t know, what do these do? Let’s find, oh,>>Reto Meier: Oh wow. What doesn’t it do?>>Ian Ni-Lewis: There’s a lot of context there.
Now, I guess the question I have here is if I have expressed some interest in a podcast
and even a point of, maybe, wanting to play that, why isn’t it downloading that podcast
right now?>>Reto Meier: Absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Why would I have to ask it
to download?>Reto Meier: Indeed. I mean, it’s kind of
a key feature here with, uh, there’s two things that Ian’s mentioned which I really, I think
is a theme across a lot of these, and one is, this UI is really busy. There is a huge
amount of information to try and consume here, to understand what you’re supposed to do next.
So it takes you a really long time to go from clicking the app launcher to being able to
use the app for the purpose which it was specifically designed.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Now let’s talk about, on that,>>Reto Meier: Please>>Ian Ni-Lewis: on that note, let’s talk about
my very least favorite part of this UI. It’s a button you see all the time and it needs
to die. But before we talk about this button let me take a drink.
[Laughter]>>Reto Meier: Ian’s mic is causing us problems,
alright.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Alrighty then. [Pause]>>Reto Meier: Depending on how bad it is then
maybe people at were forced to drink. So hopefully this is a little better.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: How’s this?>>Fred Chung: Just go.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Alright>>Reto Meier: You’ll let us know.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Yeah, Fred’s on a time delay,
right? [Laughter]>>Reto Meier: 15 seconds, he’ll tell you whether
or not you’re annoying>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Yes, well, let’s just get,
you can tell, by the way, that I’m usually a lot more lubricated when we do the game
show because [Laughter]
>>Ian Ni-Lewis: as time goes by I stumble over my words less and less. It’s the power
of alcohol. [Laughter]
>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Can you guess what button I’m talking about, Reto?>>Reto Meier: Uh, well, gosh. If I had to
choose a button it would be this button here.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: That’s a bad button.>>Reto Meier: That is a bad button.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: That is a bad button but you
don’t see that in everything.>>Reto Meier: Even less favorite button.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: I have a button that needs
to die a thousand horrible deaths. [Laughter]
>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Actually, I would say maybe 15 thousand cause I bet that’s how many apps
use this button.>>Reto Meier: That’s a lot of apps. Oh, gosh,
I mean, for a podcast app I kind of wanna see this button here die.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Bingo! Thank you very much,
Reto, that is the correct answer. I’ll be getting you your prize later. Why, in God’s
name, would you have a synchronize button when you have the ability to stay in sync
all the time?>>Reto Meier: Absolutely. Don’t ask me to
refresh, just refresh. Be fresh. These days there’s really no, there’s, I think, no reason
why you would ever want a refresh button.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Certainly not front and center
like that.>>Reto Meier: No, absolutely. There was a
time when I could see it as something maybe in the overflow menu to force a refresh but
these days with things like the Google Cloud Messaging, you can do those real time pings.
You can have a server which is checking these feeds and pinging your users directly when
they have new content.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: It’s, in my mind, this button
is a fix me cause I screwed up button. For some reason things didn’t synchronize correctly
or for some reason I want to override my sync setting. So, for instance, one really useful
feature that a lot of these apps have is the ability to not synchronize until you get on
Wi-Fi or until your device is plugged in.>>Reto Meier: Absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: So you let it sync overnight
or while it’s sitting on your desk at work or whatever and it doesn’t eat up your bandwidth
while you’re driving your car. I love that, that’s great.>>Reto Meier: Absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: And if I need to override
that that’s fine but this isn’t one of those times. We’re on Wi-Fi, this tablet is plugged
in, well, I guess it’s not plugged in maybe that’s>>Reto Meier: It’s possible.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Maybe I’m being too hard.>>Reto Meier: But still.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: No, I’m not being too hard.
[Laughter]>>Ian Ni-Lewis: So you wanna be able to, you
know, I mean, we’re gonna press this button and it is going to start synchronizing things.
There we go, updating feeds.>>Reto Meier: Updating feeds. It’s a lot of
use of toast in this app as well to tell me what’s going on. I have to tell you, I think
of toasts as it’s the log.D statement of UI. It’s, I’m building an app, I wanna make sure
my service isn’t running and running, I wanna make sure that my errors are visible when
I’m testing the app. Users should never see this.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: It’s a print app.>>Reto Meier: It’s a print app, exactly right.
It’s debugging when you don’t have a debugger attached.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Now the other thing that I
think is interesting is there is a download manager here and I don’t, I think that’s a
good thing. I always like to know what’s going on. But notice that I can’t get to it until
I’m synchronizing.>>Reto Meier: Ah, it’s disabled. I see, yeah.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: So now I can go here and I
see, alright, there’s a download queue. What’s interesting here is, you know, I’ve got something
that says, okay this is downloading and these will download soon, I can cancel it. What
happens if I click here? What sort of context menu might it pop up? Apparently nothing.>>Reto Meier: Nothing, interesting.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: In fact, it turns out that
this button, which to me says, there’s more stuff, you might wanna click this because
there’s stuff you could see.>>Reto Meier: Yeah. Well, in the previous
menu there was like 400 hundred things you could do when you click on it.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Exactly. I’m thinking to myself,
oh my God, why don’t I click that? I should probably click that button because I am missing
something.>>Reto Meier: Please, just click it.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: What’d it do? Okay, no there
you go. That’s interesting because>>Reto Meier: Interesting.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: if I clicked it in the right
way it would bring me this.>>Reto Meier: Uh huh.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: But if I just click the>>Reto Meier: Right next to, it’s canceled>>Ian Ni-Lewis: It will cancel.>>Reto Meier: This is a really interesting
point. Could you show the audience the size of your finger?
[Pause]>>Reto Meier: Put it next to a Galaxy Nexus
for some scale. Ian has big fingers and that’s the reason why we have 48 pixel touch targets.
Because when you try and get that thumb onto that touch target>>Ian Ni-Lewis: I actually have like Adrien
Brody hands [Laughter]
>>Ian Ni-Lewis: I don’t think these are big fingers.>>Reto Meier: Well, they’re not over-sized
fingers, you know, and that’s the key. You’ve got man hands and you should be proud of that.
The point is you can’t hit those touch targets and when you have a destructive action within
touch range within another touch target and your touch targets aren’t big enough, you’re
gonna get exactly the situation that Ian’s been facing where it’s been canceling downloads
instead of getting context.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Yeah.>>Reto Meier: So good>>Ian Ni-Lewis: In fact, that was the first
time I’ve seen a context menu out of 10 downloads that I was canceling.
[Laughter]>>Reto Meier: Exactly right.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: I did not even realize it
was there. Um, now what I do like is now that I’m in this I can start playing things, um,
and if I don’t like what I’m playing I can skip it. And this is kind of cool feature.>>Reto Meier: Interesting.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: It will only respond to long
presses and that to me is a car feature>>Reto Meier: Sure.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Now I worried a little bit
because what I really wanna do is plug this into the Bluetooth audio in my car so that
I can use my steering wheel controls.>>Reto Meier: Sure. That makes sense.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: And I don’t think it’s elitist
to say that anymore. Reto Meier: Not these days.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: My mom’s Hyundai has those
steering wheel controls>>Reto Meier: Sure.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Sure. So, I’m gonna go ahead
and long press it and then it will, well what will it do?
[Pause]>>Ian Ni-Lewis: It did nothing.>>Reto Meier: it’s unclear. Yeah, very little.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: The reason, I think the reason
it did nothing is because nothing is downloaded.>>Reto Meier: Ah, of course. You’ve only got
the first thing you’re playing which has been downloaded, nothing else has.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Right, so I can play this.
But this is actually one of the things that really bothers me is if you look at how this
is set up. This is a feed management app, front and center.>>Reto Meier: Absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: I think you’d like to manage
your feeds. Now, the truth is I don’t wanna manage my feeds. It reminds me of going to
a music app and having the first thing it shows you be a store or a metadata editor
or something like that. A lot of music apps do that for various reasons.>>Reto Meier: It’s true.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: but I hate it cause 9 times
out of 10 what I really wanna do when I enter one of these apps is play the content.>>Reto Meier: Listen to some content, absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: It seems like playing the
content should be the absolute most important thing and if you don’t have content to play
the first thing you should be doing is figuring out why there’s no content to play and fixing
that.>>Reto Meier: Absolutely, absolutely. I think
this is the key, I mean, for most of your use cases here what you wanna do is open the
app, hit play and get on with whatever you were doing, driving your car presumably. And
I have to say it’s the same thing when I get in the car first thing in the morning or when
I’m on my way home and I listen to music, I just wanna open the music app, hit play
and be done with it. At the very most what you wanna do is maybe choose the style of
what you wanna listen to. A playlist or a theme and it’s the same here, for these sorts
of podcasts apps it’s exactly the same use case. It’s a case of I wanna listen to a particular
thing or I wanna listen to a particular theme and if I hit skip because I’m bored, I want
it to play something. I don’t wanna then have to go through that management of the streams
again.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: The idea that the first thing
I wanna do is look at how my streams are doing is an immediate clue to me that this app can’t
manage its own stuff. When I open, now I was a DoggCatcher user for awhile and the reason
that I finally left it is because every time I got in my car in the evening I would start
driving, I would open my phone and I’d realize that I have to pull over to the side of the
road [Laughter]
>>Ian Ni-Lewis: And manage stuff.>>Reto Meier: Yeah, right.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: It was a horrible experience.
What I really wanna be able to do is get directly to the content and here’s another point, not
only am I stuck managing the feeds as my central thing but look at the other categories. We’ve
got playing and then we’ve got, that makes sense,>>Reto Meier: Sure, shortcut to get to what
you’re currently listening to.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Sure, although I’m not even
certain that that’s what we’re currently listening to but we can’t actually play it cause of
the man. [Inaudible chatter in background]>>Reto Meier: No audio. Got audio back, excellent.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Wow, that was quick. How did
that happen?>>Reto Meier: Nicely solved. Thanks, Fred.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Did you fix it by unmuting
your headset? Okay, I’m just asking.>>Fred Chung: [Inaudible]
[Laughter]>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Nice.>>Reto Meier: Excellent.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Alright, so the other things
we can look at here is we’ve got audio podcast, okay, that’s somewhat useful. I mean, there’s
definitely a difference between audio and video like you wouldn’t want to what we’re
doing right now in the car.>>Reto Meier: No, that’s not gonna be particularly
useful.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Because>>Reto Meier: All the references to stuff
happening on the screen, what’s the benefit?>>Ian Ni-Lewis: And you would not get the
benefit of our faces which are so, so pretty.>>Reto Meier: So there are pluses and minuses
is what we’re saying.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: And then we’ve got news. Now
that’s an interesting choice, right?>>Reto Meier: Wow, as a top level tab destination.
That’s interesting.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Now let’s compare this with
something that is more, let’s say, entertainment oriented, so Google Music, for instance. Now
I’m not gonna say that Google Music is the best UI ever but what, um, what Google Music
does is very, very common, right? All, now, see what we were talking about. Yes.>>Reto Meier: You don’t wanna add account.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Oh, I don’t.>>Reto Meier: Select.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Ah.>>Reto Meier: Theoretically.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: So we could talk for hours
about Google Music [Laughter]
>>Ian Ni-Lewis: but what I really wanted to show is how Google Music has a feature that
every music app that I’ve used, actually, recently has which is that you can browse
and put things together by albums, artists, songs, playlists and genres.>>Reto Meier: Absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: And recent and, of course,
there’s a now playing feature as well.>>Reto Meier: It seems to me, and I may be
jumping in on your queue here, but these seem like reasonable navigation queues for a podcast
app as well.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Completely. I mean, they’re
so common and so well known. It’s not just Google Music that does this. My stereo in
the car does this.>>Reto Meier: Absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: My mom’s Hyundai does it,
actually.>>Reto Meier: Your mom’s got a pretty sweet
Hyundai.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: It’s amazing, yeah.
[Laughter]>>Ian Ni-Lewis: They’ve got some good products
there. Not that I’d ever drive one.>>Reto Meier: Of course.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: You know why? Because I work
for Google and they have appearances. [Laughter]
>>Ian Ni-Lewis: When they bring out like a hybrid electric>>Reto Meier: Yeah.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: then I’ll probably be in.>>Reto Meier: Probably for that, yeah.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Right. So, let’s go back to
the DoggCatcher.>>Reto Meier: DoggCatcher, yeah.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: The truth is I am happy to
know what my audio stuff is, don’t care about my video.>>Reto Meier: News.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Great that I’ve got news but
what I really want is to have a page that says news, comedy, sports, science, you know
the genres that I actually listen to.>>Reto Meier: I think this is a really important
point because I think with podcast apps like this, podcast players, there’s this temptation
I think of a developer to develop for yourself which it’s a good place to start but if you
wanna have real wide scale appeal then you need to think a little bit beyond that. So
think about how someone who doesn’t actually use listens to podcasts, who isn’t specifically
looking for a podcast player but they do want to listen to spoken audio content. Someone
who would be listening to the radio but they realize the radio is, you know, not working
for them. There’s only NPR and once they’ve listened to all of those, what’s next? So
if you approach this the same way, you have genres, you have albums, playlists, all these
things then it’s something they can be much more familiar with and you can say, oh I wanna
listening to some political commentary so you go to that and you see all these different
shows, not feeds or anything like that but shows which have the kind of content that
you wanna listen to.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Right and I want to sometimes
in the morning, um, I really want to listen to news no matter where it’s coming from.
I get like 5 minutes of the BBC in the morning and then I get my CNN, whatever, I also wanna
be able to skip, you know? Maybe the BBC’s talking about Sub-Saharan Africa today and
not interesting to me so I’m gonna skip over to whatever. In the evening, get in my car
and I wanna listen to comedy, I wanna listen to the Smartest Man in the World or Radio
4 Comedy of the week.>>Reto Meier: Absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: So, I wanna be able to pick
that genre and skip around inside of it without having to skip over all of the other genres
that I have on the phone.>>Reto Meier: Absolutely, yeah.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: It’s, I think that that’s
one thing that all of these podcast players are lacking to a certain extent.>>Reto Meier: Yeah, help with the discovery
cause I think that’s a lot of what the solution is that I’ve been seeing is apps which help
you manage your existing collection of podcasts. So you already know what you want, you already
got them subscribed in Google Reader or something similar to that and that’s why you have this
management becomes a really big portion of it cause it’s all about managing feeds you
already have. You can create something much more powerful by having, aiding that discovery.
It’s like, well I know that I want to, you know, comedy in the evening so give me a bunch
of comedy content, make that easy for me.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: I think that somebody who
actually does that pretty well Stitcher which I don’t see on here so we might not have picked
it up. Um, there, there entire deal is about discovery. They also do streaming. So you
don’t have to worry about downloads at all.>>Reto Meier: Nice.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: And management is easy, too.
They have an almost Pandora like interface for discovery.>>Reto Meier: Nice.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: The only problem with Stitcher
is once you’ve got something set up it’s very, very confusing on how to change it. I think
they use like a star, favorites type of thing>>Reto Meier: Right, right.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: But then you have to star
something and then do some extra stuff and you gotta check some boxes. So I would, we
won’t bring up Stitcher right now because we don’t have it installed, it wasn’t one
of the top apps that we were looking at on the moderator but I wanted to call it out
as something that does discovery a little better. Now,>>Reto Meier: So I wanna>>Ian Ni-Lewis: one of the things that isn’t
quite as good at discovery is>>Fred Chung: Hey, guys, sorry. Reto show
me your mic. You can leave it on>>Reto Meier: You want me to leave it on the
test? Sure.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: You forgot the most important
rule.>>Reto Meier: I did. Magic rule, leave your
mic where you can see it.>>Fred Chung: [Inaudible]>>Reto Meier: I think we’re, we’re done with
DoggCatcher and we’re gonna move on now. So yes, we are aware that we have spent a fair
amount of time.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: We have spent a long time
talking about podcast apps in general.>>Reto Meier: Yes, exactly.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: If we were just gonna like
gong ourselves after five minutes then the audience would have missed the amazing transition,
handoffs, that you and I obviously spend weeks practicing.>>Reto Meier: Clearly, clearly well rehearsed.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: So let’s take a look at, help
me out here.>>Reto Meier: Vulzenschlager. No, that’s not
quite right I missed an N. Volksempfanger. Yes.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: There you go.>>Reto Meier: There you go.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: I knew the foreigner would
be able to get that. So, again, the very first thing you see when you start up.>>Reto Meier: There’s a lot of white space.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: And, yeah.>>Reto Meier: And it kind of has the podcast
icon of shame.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Indeed. Okay and I have no
subscriptions. Let’s, you know, let’s get a subscription. Fine, okay, now
[Laughter]>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Here’s>>Reto Meier: Good luck with that.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: this is a problem. Yeah, I
realize I’m shallow and I realize I’m not a good techie but the truth is there’s a lot
of apps that don’t make me type in a URL>>Reto Meier: You haven’t memorized the URLs
for all of your favorite podcasts?>>Ian Ni-Lewis: I have not. You’d think that
I would have.>>Reto Meier: Ian, come on.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: I mean, certainly Android
has a much better cut and paste functionality than it used to.
[Laughter]>>Reto Meier: I think you’re gonna have to
take a drink.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Just looking at this makes
me need to take a drink.>>Reto Meier: While Ian’s doing that I will
type in the one podcast that I know.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: If you want, the truth is
I and probably most of the people that have looked at this app
[Laughter]>>Ian Ni-Lewis: have already uninstalled it.>>Reto Meier: Already closed it?>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Yeah.>>Reto Meier: Ah.
[Pause]>>Reto Meier: Alright, podcast. Now you can
see from this, this is actually a pretty easy to remember URL.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Sure.>>Reto Meier: But it’s taken me more time
to type this in than I really have patience for. And if I’ve misspelled this then it’s
kind of game over.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: You’re pretty much screwed,
yeah.>>Reto Meier: So I put it in.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: It still says we have no>>Reto Meier: It still says we have no subscriptions.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Yeah.>>Reto Meier: I can look through here and
everything is empty. Now we have the spinning, the spinning progress.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Oh, oh, oh look what’s happening.
How exciting. We have something in there. I was successfully subscribed to the podcast.
I wouldn’t have minded seeing some sort of progress indication while waiting for that.>>Reto Meier: Yeah. You wanna, we’ve already
subscribed, show us, show us what we subscribed to so that if we’re going through with fingers
of lightening, typing in all,>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Right.>>Reto Meier: If you’ve memorized your URLs
we’d at least know what we’re up to. We can click through and otherwise it’s>>Ian Ni-Lewis: That’s pretty.>>Reto Meier: It’s a nice simple UI. So this
is something I wanted to highlight for this app, in particular, cause compared to some
of the other we’re gonna look at, has a very clean UI. It’s very simple, very straight
forward, just showing the information that you need, though, arguably, not enough information.
Not this is where it all gets a little bit weird. For start, if you keep your eye on
this section of the screen you’ll see that there is a checkbox which occasionally flashes
in or out. I’m not entirely sure why or how to bring it up consistently but see that,
just for a fraction of a second?>>Ian Ni-Lewis: No, I didn’t. Let’s see one
more time. No.>>Reto Meier: No, not that time. But, again,
so we’ve got this big amount of white screen and we have a play button but it’s not that
it’s hidden but it’s not particularly, it doesn’t really jump out. So if I was gonna
try and use this app in my car, I’ve got a problem right away.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Right. Now I think the, we
can’t bash them too hard cause obviously they’re thinking, well I’ve got an action I wanna
take>>Reto Meier: Sure.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: I’m gonna put it on the action
bar and this is a good example of when it’s okay to break the rules. There are actions
that you’re taking on content where the content in the screen is the most important thing.
And those actions are, far and away, best suited in the action bar.>>Reto Meier: Absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: However, there are some actions
that are either extremely contextual so you put them next to the content, directly next
to the content or so universal that they really don’t belong in the action bar because they
are, themselves, the most important thing and in this case I would argue that the transport
for any app that plays audio, the transport is the most important thing.>>Reto Meier: Absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: In fact, it should be on every
screen. You never want to be in the position where you can’t access the transport because
if nothing else you might need to pause that audio.>>Reto Meier: Exactly and this is a good example.
So, again, and this is a theme that I’m gonna continue to come back to, time and time again,
which is I want the app to start doing what I downloaded it for as quickly as possible.
Ideally, as soon as I click the icon, open the app, you can start doing something, in
this case, playing me some kind of audio. Here I’ve had to click, I’ve had to add a
subscription then navigate into that and then navigate into a particular thing and then
hit play before it’s actually going to start that playback. At which point it does introduce
the controls along the bottom which is nice. They are>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Small>>Reto Meier: absolutely tiny. Yeah. Which
makes me think, I was gonna say it makes me think this was designed for a phone but we
have the tab, the tablet layout with fragments so they’re half way there. And I get the impression,
I think; this is even an alpha release. So it’s early days for them.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Yeah.>>Reto Meier: But you definitely wanna consider
straight away as Ian just pointed out, these need to be big buttons, they need to be front
and center, this is the key to what your app is doing, so increase their size. While we’re
talking about the transport mechanism, cause I think this is a good point and I wanna talk
a little bit more about that, if we switch to the camera phone, or the phone camera I
should say, then we should be able to look at some of these apps on a phone. And I’m
gonna do that because I wanna highlight a couple of specific things. So if I start playing
an app here in DoggCatcher, there’s a few things I’m gonna look for straight away. So
as soon as I navigate away from that app I still wanna be able to control that audio
from anywhere. So the first thing I’m gonna check is see whether or not I can control
it on the lock screen.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Yeah.>>Reto Meier: Yeah, I can which is nice. We
even have the album up which is tidy. I have the ability to pause, play, skip, although
again skip doesn’t actually do anything in this instance.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: No.>>Reto Meier: It’s not>>Ian Ni-Lewis: A little tricky>>Reto Meier: It does trick you, it is tricky.
It’s like I wanna be able to skip this song, I’m getting bored and listen to the next,
uh, the next podcast in that particular album or skip to a completely different podcast
if that’s the better option.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Makes sense.>>Reto Meier: So, let’s, uh, let’s unlock
this. I also wanna be able to do that in notifications. And, again, this is something that DoggCatcher
has done well. So I can actually pause directly from the notification. Now, you’ll note that
by doing so, they’ve actually removed the notification straight away.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Right, which is a little weird.>>Reto Meier: It is a little weird. Now this
is kind of tricky, right? Because the reason the notification is there when it’s playing
is because you need an ongoing notification if you have a service running. When I’ve paused
it that service isn’t running so let’s take it away. The thing is, give me a chance here,
you know, maybe I just paused it because I wanna yell at someone out the window, you
cut me off and I wanna be able to press play again straight away. You’ll note that it’s
gone from everywhere. So if I go back to the lock screen, again, there’s no way to restart
the audio until I reopen the app. It’s hard.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: It wasn’t a pause. It was
abort, abort, abort.>>Reto Meier: Exactly. It’s a big red button
and that’s too aggressive.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Well, this would be great
if they used Jellybean rich notifications because then they give you that choice. I
mean, maybe you did just wanna kill the whole thing>>Reto Meier: Absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: when you clicked on the notification
that didn’t have any indication of what it was going to do at all.
[Laughter]>>Reto Meier: Exactly.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: But, if you didn’t, in general
we suggest that when you make a notification, if it doesn’t have any other UI, if it doesn’t
have a rich UI associated with it, the natural thing is when you click on it you should bring
up the activity that’s firing the notification to begin with.>>Reto Meier: Absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: And that should always be
your default. You shouldn’t do anything else, really, unless you have, like we said, rich
notification UI on, ala Jellybean.>>Reto Meier: Let’s just have a quick look
if DoggCatcher has a widget. It does. So this is the last thing and>>Ian Ni-Lewis: That’s cool.>>Reto Meier: They’ve done a good job with
that. So they have maintained those transport mechanisms throughout every part of the UI,
the system UI. So that’s definitely a thumbs up for DoggCatcher. Not all of the apps that
we looked at do any of those, let alone all of them.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Next one.>>Reto Meier: Should we have a look at another
app?>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Absolutely. Why don’t we go
ahead and go to BeyondPod which is another one that gets a lot of good recommendations.>>Reto Meier: Absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Now it turns out that this
is, or has been, one of my go to podcast apps, although, probably because it’s the least
frustrating of all the frustrations I’ve encountered.>>Reto Meier: Okay. That’s high praise.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Well>>Reto Meier: You’re setting that high bar.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Yeah, yeah, um, so this is
an interesting UI. It goes from feed to player. There should also be, let’s see, uh, so you’ve
got a categorized list and it turns out, actually, they’ve, the developers are very responsive.
This is actually a different UI than I used just last week.>>Reto Meier: Excellent.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: I actually used this. Um,
so they’ve done categorization in here which is cool but, again, a little weird and difficult
to use in the car.>>Reto Meier: Yes, absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Very>>Reto Meier: This is a good example of where
you wanna have a big, big UI with big, big buttons that you can just press which have
pictures which indicate what they are so you don’t need to think or read or navigate or
worry about touching the wrong bit, it’s just bang, bang, bang.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Now I have to compliment these
guys on doing a much better job than the first version on BeyondPod that I downloaded where
the initial set of categories was on a view pager and the second page was the detail of
what a category>>Reto Meier: I see.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: and the third page was the
detail of the feed selected and then the fourth page was, I think, the now playing and paging
between the view pager did all sorts of really wacky things. At the very, very, it was a
departure from what you would expect the view pager to do.>>Reto Meier: Yeah, you don’t want the view
pager to ever maintain any sort of state apart from where you’ve scrolled to on any particular
list view.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Yep. So let’s go ahead and
start. This is one thing that’s a little interesting. They do RSS as well as actual audio>>Reto Meier: Sure.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: podcast so this is an RSS
feed. Let’s see if we can find one that’s actually an audio, Global News>>Reto Meier: Let’s go with the BBC, yeah.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: So this, now, this is interesting.
The, uh, they do streaming which is really, really nice. But I will say the one thing
that’s been extremely frustrating to me about using BeyondPod is that we, we try to stream
but we don’t always have a connection. And BeyondPod, if you don’t have a good connection
will download, it will play downloaded stuff but it will try to fill at home first.>>Reto Meier: Ah.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: So there are cases where I
have completely downloaded a podcast but because the player can’t make a connection it won’t
play.>>Reto Meier: That’s very frustrating. It’s
the same sort of rage inducing anger that you get when you wanna play a game which you’ve
paid the license for, you’ve played it before, totally works but because you happen to be
on an airplane and wanting to play Angry Birds or Asphalt 7 for a few hours in between here
and Honolulu you can’t because you can’t get a Wi-Fi connection.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Exactly.>>Reto Meier: It’s also worth pointing out
here, as well, when you’re doing a buffering and streaming in general, it is a good, it
is a good technique but you need to also be careful you’re doing it the right way to make
sure you’re not draining the battery just for the sake of having these sorts of downloads.
So, one of the best practices which Ian was trying to point out, is that you should have
enough content for the foreseeable use of this app. So, if you’re listening to things
like podcasts, you probably wanna pre buffer the entire episode and you may even wanna
think about getting whatever’s next on the queue as well. So they don’t just happen to
be, there’s a set of lights on Charleston which is in a cell tower dead zone. So if
I happen to get to that stop, and it’s a long intersection you’re there for a few minutes,
if I get there and a song stops, you know I run out of song, depending on the app I’m
using, I’m screwed. It’s sitting there going I’ll get to it eventually and it’s not until
I’m on the freeway that>>Ian Ni-Lewis: You should have a strategy
for dealing with that. Not just buffering up what you think you’re gonna need but maybe
falling back into something old or whatever>>Reto Meier: Absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Now this, what you’re seeing
on the screen now is my face, but if you were seeing the tablet, there you go, the, this
is my other pet peeve. And this is not limited to BeyondPod, there’s actually a few other
players that do this. I tried to skip forward and it said the playlist was empty. Now it’s
interesting because I got to this by going to the BBC and choosing the first episode.>>Reto Meier: Absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: If I skip forward after that,
based on your extensive knowledge of [Laughter]
>>Ian Ni-Lewis: IPods or, you know, Sony Walkman or
[Laughter]>>Ian Ni-Lewis: music players of any stripe,
what would you expect to happen at that point?>>Reto Meier: I’d kind of expect it to play
the next episode.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Right. That is also what I
expected. However, no, it will not play that because I don’t have anything in the playlist.
Now the interesting thing is, having been a BeyondPod customer for about 6 months now,
bought BeyondPod Pro, I have absolutely no idea how to add anything to the playlist.
[Laughter]>>Ian Ni-Lewis: I have no clue. What?
[Laughter]>>Reto Meier: That’s how angry he is.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Exactly.
[Laughter]>>Reto Meier: He’s ripping the mic off his
lapel angry.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: What’s even worse is that,
now they don’t say it here so maybe they changed it, but the version I originally used called
it the smart playlist which implied that it had some sort of intelligence and might do
something for me but apparently>>Reto Meier: Does it imply that, Ian>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Yes>>Reto Meier: Or does it imply that you need
to be smart to use the playlist.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: I think what it’s saying is
it’s just smart enough to know that it doesn’t need to listen to me.
[Laughter]>>Reto Meier: The self-aware playlist.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: It does not serve me>>Reto Meier: I’d like to go to the next track.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: As a master.>>Reto Meier: I’m sorry I can’t do that, Ian.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Exactly. So, to wrap up a
bit, some of the other things that we looked at include Good News which has really nice
features but suffers from many of the same feedback problems>>Reto Meier: Absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: that we talked about. In particular,
it’s possible to get Good News into a state where you have to just sit there staring at
the screen waiting for it to do something and it is giving you very little idea>>Reto Meier: Right.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: of what it’s doing. Especially,
this is especially frustrating because I have, let’s say, 25 hundred unread articles>>Reto Meier: Sure.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: in my Google Reader account
which Good News, to its credit, links up with very, very easily. It will say I’ve synced
a hundred articles, I can’t read those articles, I can’t see them, all I can see is the thing
that says you gotta wait until all 2,500>>Reto Meier: Until all of them are synced
up.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: So you might think about whether
or not that’s a good user experience. Um, Listen Up is promising, a little rough>>Reto Meier: Yeah. It’s definitely early.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Podax made no impression on
me whatsoever. [Laughter]
>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Hipstacast has>>Reto Meier: Did that leave an impression?>>Ian Ni-Lewis: a terrible icon. It looks
fine on this screen because it’s against this kind of cloudy background. Put it against
anything else, the problem is it just doesn’t have enough contrast so it’s very, very easy
to blend into the background.>>Reto Meier: Sure.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: So why don’t we finish up
by just taking a look at Pocket Casts which for all its sins is probably one of the best
that we’ve looked at. This is probably going to be my go to app.>>Reto Meier: This is going to be your go
to podcast app? Is it going to be your go to podcast app on a tablet?>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Uh, I have no idea. I haven’t
used it on a tablet. Wouldn’t use it on a tablet>>Reto Meier: No.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: I don’t carry that around
in my>>Reto Meier: Well, I’ve been contemplating
this because I have a spare Nexus 7, that’s right, your all jealous, and I’ve been trying
to figure out how I can mount it to the dashboard of my Prius cause I work for Google so I have
a Prius. But all the services>>Ian Ni-Lewis: And you’re insufferable>>Reto Meier: This is true. I went to the
dealership I’m like, I need a car and then after 10 minutes of talking to me they knew
exactly what they needed to give me. All the surfaces get, all the surfaces inside are
exactly the same as the surfaces on the outside. So there’s nothing flat. Everything is curved
and rounded so there’s nowhere I can stick the device to actually, to mount it in my
car. So, I don’t know but that would be an instance of if you have a car with slightly
squarer edges, I have the impression that many American cars have quite straight edges
inside the car.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Oh no, that’s a myth.>>Reto Meier: Is that a myth?>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Perpetuated by certain political>>Reto Meier: Europeans?>>Ian Ni-Lewis: establishments>>Reto Meier: oh, I see.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Everything in America is straight.>>Reto Meier: Well if the man won’t let me
have, you know straight surfaces in the car then I guess it’s a non issue but I always
thought that would be quite useful.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: So, this is something that
we never like to see.>>Reto Meier: Yeah.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Hi there
[Laughter]>>Ian Ni-Lewis: It’s like in the Hitchhiker’s
Guide where it says, “Hi, I’m gonna press this button, oh what’d it do? A flag went
up saying; please do not press this button again.”
[Laughter]>>Ian Ni-Lewis: All this is saying is, “Yeah,
by the way, don’t press that button.”>>Reto Meier: Yeah.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: “Not yet anyway. Press a different
button. Try something else.” Uh, I think this is a programmer thing, right, because compilers
would be like, “Oh yeah, did you mean to put a semicolon there?”>>Reto Meier: Yeah.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: and what do new programmers
always say, “Well, it knows that I needed a semicolon.”>>Reto Meier: Why did it just put it there?>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Why did it put the semicolon
there?>>Reto Meier: You mean to tell me it’s not
there?>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Right, you should be more
magical than C Plus Plus, that’s all I’m saying. So if we wanted to have a podcast I guess
we, we click on the library icon and this is the really frustrating thing is once I
click on the library icon, absolutely nothing happens.>>Reto Meier: That’s pretty much a, it’s a
pretty black screen there.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: basically Mr. headphone icon
is full of, I’m taking a drink. [Laughter]>>Reto Meier: he’s taking a drink.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: I think what we actually have
to do is do a search.>>Reto Meier: Oh.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: And this is nice. We’ve got
the popular podcasts, that’s good, a browser category, I mean, the discoverability here
is much, much better>>Reto Meier: yeah, this is more like it.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: than most.>>Reto Meier: Oh.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Now, Roman Nurik would go
ballistic at this point.>>Reto Meier: Yeah, I think he’s gone so angry
that he’s fallen off the hangout. That’s, that’s, out of his chair and off the internet.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Yep, now, we’re out of time.>>Reto Meier: It’s true.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: But we’re gonna keep going
anyway.>>Reto Meier: That’s right. So many people
were interrupting. It’s you. [Laughter]>>Ian Ni-Lewis: The reason that Roman Nurik
would be mad about this, just drinkin’ mad,>>Reto Meier: Yeah.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: which doesn’t take much cause
he’s Russian but [Laughter]>>Reto Meier: Ukrainian I think.
[Pause]>>Reto Meier: You made a mistake there.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Huge faux pas>>Reto Meier: Yeah.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: I am so sorry. Alright,>>Reto Meier: I’m not gonna point out who
he’s apologizing to here. It could be the Russians, it could be Ukrainians, it could
be Roman, it could be anyone, frankly.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: It’s really just Roman.
[Laughter]>>Ian Ni-Lewis: and everyone else.>>Reto Meier: Everyone else.
[Laughs]>>Ian Ni-Lewis: I am so sorry.>>Reto Meier: Roman and everyone else.
[Laughs]>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Well no, I’m apologizing to
everyone except the person who put this God awful gradient background
[Laughter]>>Ian Ni-Lewis: on this list page.>>Reto Meier: This actually reminds me of
a demo, do you remember the demo scene from like, I guess it was the late 90’s where you
had like a 64K demo where you had like awesome graphic stuff done within 64K and one of the
cool things you could do was these gradients and they would shift and change and move.
We’re not in the 90s anymore.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: That’s quite true. No, if
we were, he would be Milli and I would be Vanilli and we’re not.>>Reto Meier: Yeah, and you can only be thankful
for that.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: The other thing that we object
to, that Roman objects to, I don’t know how I feel about this.>>Reto Meier: This isn’t us, this is just
Roman.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Is these, these little right
arrows.>>Reto Meier: Oh, the right carets yeah I’m
not a fan of those at all.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Yeah, nobody is.>>Reto Meier: Oh, and particularly when they
get stretched in this way, that’s not cool.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Oh that’s a beautiful, beautiful
thing. Well, let’s not be too harsh. Let’s just choose something, the Sesame Street podcast.>>Reto Meier: Sweet.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: That’s gotta be completely>>Reto Meier: Well if that doesn’t put you
in a good mood I don’t know what will.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: I’ll just hit the back button,
nice, that worked. This, oh no.>>Reto Meier: You’re out. Also should point
out that you hitting the back button, the fact that that worked is nice but the fact
that there’s no other way to navigate back from that deep nested thing to the bit where
you get to play is kind of irritating.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Well, yeah, in the sense that
if I had a real action bar with navigational hints I would be able to navigate directly
rather than hitting a button five times.>>Reto Meier: Yeah, exactly.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Speaking of hitting that button,
you know, if I go here and start one of these things going, then press this little magic
button it’s going to show me this and then, now I don’t know if it’ll do this on the tablet
but on the phone, hitting the back button on that just quit the app completely.>>Reto Meier: Yeah, yeah.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: It doesn’t do that on the
tablet so that’s cool. They have kind of a nice UI where this skips forward 30 seconds,
this skips back 10 seconds.>>Reto Meier: I can see that it’s actually
a video cast because we can see that’s being displayed.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Oh, and which is a good thing
to point out because it means they can’t see>>Reto Meier: The rest of what you’re doing.
[Laughter]>>Reto Meier: We’re back now.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: So we’re going to have to
do just one more, uh, one more depth into this. One of these needs to be, okay, Greg
Proops never has videos so we’ll go ahead and use Greg Proops.
[Laughter]>>Reto Meier: Hit the back button a few time.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Hit the back button several
times, I don’t mind, I’m a back button hitter.>>Reto Meier: Uh, it’s too many.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Maybe one too many times.
So we’ll go to the smartest man in the world podcast. Notice it’s going to play immediately
which is wonderful.>>Reto Meier: Well, immediately once it’s
finished buffering.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: finished buffering, yeah.
Okay, now you can see this. So on the right hand side of the screen, 30 seconds skip forward.>>Reto Meier: Yeah, I really like that.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Left hand side 10 seconds
back, that’s awesome.>>Reto Meier: What did he just say?>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Now if I click here, what’s
it gonna do?>>Reto Meier: It wants to skip.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: That actually skipping forward.
Why would I need that? This is skipping forward? No wait, this whole side of the screen is
skipping forward.>>Reto Meier: Absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: What I really want when I
hit this is to go to the next podcast>>Reto Meier: The next track. Yeah, absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: There is no way to go to the
next track which annoys me no end because sometimes I just get a podcast that’s really
boring.>>Reto Meier: If this was a podcast, this
may be the time where you’d wanna skip ahead.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Wouldn’t you be saying to
yourself, “God, I wish I could just press a button and skip directly to the Friday Review
of Games?”>>Reto Meier: Exactly. I’d skip 30 seconds
15, 20 times now. I’m just done; I wanna get to the good stuff.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: By the way, Reto’s not talking
about a podcast player he’s talking about his life but he does it with drugs.
[Laughter]>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Anyway, so, to sum up. Pocket
Casts is a great app functionally. The UI does not look like it’s designed for Android,
it looks like it, A, I think it took some cues from maybe a different system, one that’s
a little more bubbly and rounded than ours.>>Reto Meier: Little bit like the Prius.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: And that shows up in the review.
So>>Reto Meier: Absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: people complain about that.
It’s the same way if you, if you bought that other phone and you got an app that looked
just like an Android app you’d probably>>Reto Meier: Absolutely. You’d be similarly
frustrated. It’s that, it’s creating that magic. You wanna open the app and feel like
you’re at home. Feel like it’s part of the eco system, part of the system that you’re
running. You open this app and straight away you are wondering what phone you have, how
does this work? How do I get to do different things? How do I navigate? All of those things
which as a developer who maybe owns a different kind of phone, it’s obvious to you, I know
how this works, you tab across the top here and the refresh icon is always here but for
typical Android users it’s gonna be hostile. It’s a hostile environment and that’s what
you wanna avoid.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: But at least I can arrange
my podcasts and episodes and look at everything without having to delve through multiple categories.
But of all the things that we’ve looked at today, we haven’t seen anything that does
podcast playing nearly as well as just a simple music player.>>Reto Meier: Absolutely and it’s interesting
that whenever I ask people about their favorite podcast player, one of the most frequent responses
I get is people are asking, you know, “I really wish Google Music could just integrate podcasts.”And
I think that’s an opportunity for people because Google Music, the player, is not a particularly
fancy implementation.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Yeah. It’s normal.>>Reto Meier: It’s pretty straight up. It’s
just standard.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: It’s white bread.>>Reto Meier: It is totally white bread and
a lot of these apps, we haven’t delved into the details of what a lot of these apps do
because they do a lot of things, they have a lot of functionality, it’s really great
and really important for podcasting. But they don’t do the basics as well as they could
and I think that’s, you know, that’s the take home piece of advice that I’d give you guys
who are developing these sorts of apps is get the basics right. You know, get that first
screen when I open it up and I just wanna start listening to a podcast, make all of
that as simple, as clean and as easy as it can be. And then everything else, that’s all,
that’s all bonus. That’s what makes you better than all the other apps.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Let’s put up the angry baby
for 15 more seconds.>>Reto Meier: Absolutely.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Just say, look, these aren’t
things that we walked in thinking all podcast apps should do. This is something we wrote
this morning after sitting down with 12 different podcast apps trying to make them work, trying
to make them fit our lifestyle and ultimately deciding that none of them were actually what
we wanted. So make that podcast app, you got my dollars, I’ll pay, you know, I would pay
20 bucks>>Reto Meier: I should point out as well that
these podcast apps, at least 2 or 3 of these were paid apps between sort of 1 and 5 bucks
and people will pay 5 bucks for an app if it does everything they want it to do.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Any day of the week. Absolutely.
Alright, so we have to go get Dan Galpin out of his cage and lay down the protective sheets
along our camera here to make sure that he doesn’t spit all over it. So we’ve got a lot
of work to do before the Friday Review of Games starts. So, Reto, I think we should
sign off.>>Reto Meier: We should. Thank you very much
for joining us this week, Ian.>>Ian Ni-Lewis: Absolutely.>>Reto Meier: Hopefully we’ll see you again
in the future. Thank you, especially, to Fred and Daniel for helping us out behind the camera.
We’re gonna be back next week, same time, 1 o’clock on Friday. I think we’re going to
be looking at finance apps next week. Is that right, Fred? Finance apps? I think so. So
do make sure that you put your nominations for finance apps that you’ve used and you’d
like us to take a look at in the moderator page. And we will see you again same time
next week. Thank you for watching.

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