Upcoming Pocket Casts update shows the future of app design for Android

Pocket Casts has found itself in the spotlight over the past few days following its controversial acquisition by an NPR-led radio group, and this has caused a lot of loyal users to fear that development for the app will go down the drain. Thanks to a tease of an upcoming update, however, I think we can safely put those fears to rest.

Google recently shared a few partner studies it conducted to show smart and thoughtful uses of Material Design, and one of those partners was none other than Pocket Casts. The study shows a completely new layout for the app, and along with a visual overhaul, there are big changes to the way everything works, too.

You'll still find your subscribed podcasts organized in a grid just like before, but the bottom bar showing your current podcast has changed dramatically. Instead of offering just one button for playing/resuming what you're listening to, you'll now find controls for that, rewinding, fast-forwarding, and more.

Pocket Casts current app (left) and its new design (right)

The cover art for the podcast you've got playing will also change the color of the bottom bar controls, progress bar, and more.

Perhaps most interesting is the way Pocket Casts will handle Android's navigation bar. When the app is open, your navigation area will be completely hidden and the very bottom of the app will house five icons for navigating through everything you need to get at. It's a great way to fill your screen with nothing but the content of an app and should work perfectly with Android P's new gestures.

Shortly after this study was released, Chris Martin (a Product Designer at Pocket Casts) confirmed that the new look is indeed coming and will be available for Android and iOS. There's no word on when it'll be available, but rest assured this isn't just some concept Google whipped up.

If you're a Pocket Casts user, how do you like the app's new look?

Download: Pocket Casts ($3.99)

Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

  • Nice new design. Looks like the desktop version
  • Looking forward to it. Love Pocket Cast.
  • As usual internet, oh my god this redesign sucks and UI looks ugly. Personally, can't wait for the update 😂
  • looking forward to a refreshed design. it's been a while since the last one.
  • It looks good!
  • Bought the app a couple months ago. One of the best paid apps out there!
  • Just hope they don't get rid of the extra dark theme. All that white makes my eyes bleed.
  • Yes! Death to the hamburger menu!
  • I don't see the casting icon. I hope it's still going to be an option.
  • Looks nice. But the number one thing I want from Pocket Casts is to be able to launch and control it by voice on Google Home. The number two thing I want from Pocket Casts is to be able to play podcasts on my Wear OS watch - and have it sync up.
  • Ok, I'll be the negative voice about one thing... I don't like apps that take my top bar without my approval. It's one extra swipe to get to your bar when you need it and I don't mind the little bit of screen real estate lost.