My favorite podcasting app, Pocket Casts, got a big update on Android this week, adding support for several new Oreo features.
Not on Oreo? No worries, the latest Pocket Casts update adds a number of other new features that work across multiple Android versions too.
Here’s what’s new.
Adaptive icons. Android 8.0 Oreo supports adaptive app icons, which basically means that app makers can create multiple versions of their app icons so that they look good whether the system theme uses square (default), rounded square (Samsung), circular (the Pixels), or other shaped icons. I assume all Pocket Casts had to do was turn on this support, since the logo is circular and the icon looks great no matter what shape the icon is.
Picture in Picture. Back in September, I wrote about Oreo’s support for picture-in-picture (PIP), and lamented that there were so few apps that supported it. Well, now there’s one more, and Pocket Casts works as expected for the most part. You have to manually trigger PIP, however, using a toolbar icon in the Now Playing screen: It won’t just come on if you leave the app.
Notification Channels. While I’ve written a lot about the notification improvements in Oreo—like its support for notification dots and notification previews (both of which Pocket Casts already supports)—I’ve not yet covered notification channels, which let users configure the importance levels of various notification types on an app-by-app basis. In Pocket Casts, you can now individually control how notifications for downloads, new episodes, and playback work instead of just having one general notification setting.
For those using older Android versions, the latest Pocket Casts app also brings battery and background performance improvements, faster image loading, show note updating when the podcast maker makes changes, and various bug fixes and performance improvements.
You can download Pocket Casts for Android from the Google Play Store. The app is also available on the iPhone/iOS and on the web. Note that Pocket Casts is a paid app on each platform, and well worth the $6 one-time fee per app ($9 for the web version). I use this app every day and highly recommend it. (And yes, I’ve paid for it on each of the supported platforms.)