The Friday App Clinic: Podcast Players


Uploaded by androiddevelopers on 10.08.2012

Transcript:
>>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.