Non-game Android Apps Recommendations Catch-All

wanderingtaoist wrote:

Well, after a few hours with Pocket Casts I am a convert. Definitely what I was looking for (and more) - easy updates, automatic playlists, the works. Thanks for the tip!

just adding my +1 to Pocket Casts. The interface is really good and the developers keep updating the app non-stop.

Anybody having an issue moving podcasts around in a playlist since the 4.3 update to Pocket Casts? I agree it wasn't the best before, but now, either podcasts don't drag where you want them, or you can't scroll because you are accidentally dragging the order of the playlist around.

Frustrated doesn't begin to describe me. Was trying to reorganize my playlist at a red light today and felt like throwing the whole thing out the window.

MannishBoy wrote:

Anybody having an issue moving podcasts around in a playlist since the 4.3 update to Pocket Casts? I agree it wasn't the best before, but now, either podcasts don't drag where you want them, or you can't scroll because you are accidentally dragging the order of the playlist around.

Frustrated doesn't begin to describe me. Was trying to reorganize my playlist at a red light today and felt like throwing the whole thing out the window.

Haven't noticed that. Sorry!

I did notice, however, that I can't see the very bottom podcast in a playlist if another one is currently open (as it's dialog at the bottom of the app, with the "Pause" button and podcast image, is covering it).

ilduce620 wrote:
MannishBoy wrote:

Anybody having an issue moving podcasts around in a playlist since the 4.3 update to Pocket Casts? I agree it wasn't the best before, but now, either podcasts don't drag where you want them, or you can't scroll because you are accidentally dragging the order of the playlist around.

Frustrated doesn't begin to describe me. Was trying to reorganize my playlist at a red light today and felt like throwing the whole thing out the window.

Haven't noticed that. Sorry!

I did notice, however, that I can't see the very bottom podcast in a playlist if another one is currently open (as it's dialog at the bottom of the app, with the "Pause" button and podcast image, is covering it).

It seems to be intermittant that it gets into the state where I can't scroll but instead select to drag anything I touch.

They also got rid of "swipe to clear," right? As in, I can't hold down and drag a podcast to get rid of it anymore: I have to hold down and then click the trash button.

....just when I'd gotten used to the feature...

The swipe to clear feature was always a bit wonky for me. Most of the time I either scrolled the list instead because I did not move my finger in the exact needed angle or I opened the episode information popup because I did not reach the edge at the time I removed my finger from the screen.
Press down to mark the first and then tab the next to delete is quite a nice change though.

OK, I might have to quit using Pocket Casts if this can't get fixed. I cannot right now reorder my play list at all at the moment. I drag stuff, but it ends up back where it started. Making me so mad. Is there something I'm missing here? I've tried highlighting and dragging, but that doesn't work, and I've tried dragging from the three bars on the left side of the list.

It looks like it's moving until I release.

EDIT: I think what happened is the update converted my long existing manual playlist to behave like a smart playlist. Smart playlists cannot be reordered.

Didn't they push out an update today addressing this?

Plastefuchs wrote:

Didn't they push out an update today addressing this?

Yes. They tweeted me back that it was coming after I complained to them

I agree that swipe to clear was poor. I was very happy to see that trash icon recently.

Huh, the Play Books app actually sounds reasonably listenable with the "Read Aloud" option for books, especially with the High-Quality Voice setting turned on. Never would have thought it.

It's not an actor, but I could see using that occasionally to get to the end of a chapter when I had to stop reading the text and head out or something.

Just bought my first Android phone ever, due to arrive tomorrow:
http://www.theverge.com/2013/12/2/51...
(it's not available in US yet, though, just premiered in Europe)

Having used iOS for last four years I'm absolutely clueless about Android devices. I mean never-had-one-in-hand clueless. Can anyone recommend me good guide explaining basic differences in what I can and can't do on Android phone?
I'm especially thinking about things like downloading and syncing podcasts automatically. Is that a built-in feature? Will I need an extra app? What is the iTunes counterpart for Android on PC?

After eight years of using iTunes to sync my media I have some catching up to do

UCRC wrote:

Just bought my first Android phone ever, due to arrive tomorrow:
http://www.theverge.com/2013/12/2/51...
(it's not available in US yet, though, just premiered in Europe)

Having used iOS for last four years I'm absolutely clueless about Android devices. I mean never-had-one-in-hand clueless. Can anyone recommend me good guide explaining basic differences in what I can and can't do on Android phone?
I'm especially thinking about things like downloading and syncing podcasts automatically. Is that a built-in feature? Will I need an extra app? What is the iTunes counterpart for Android on PC?

After eight years of using iTunes to sync my media I have some catching up to do ;)

I had a similar experience some months ago - my iPhone broke down and my employer provided me an Xperia L. Took me about 12 hours to get used to it and I don't think I ever want to go back to iOS.
For podcasts there are several apps which are able to download podcasts even without PC. I use PocketCasts and it is pretty damn fabulous, much better than my everyday syncing with PC.

As for media syncing, you can pretty much copy anything over USB cable. Android is way more permissive than iOS.

For contacts transfer, just sync your iPhone contacts with Google Contacts in iTunes. Once you login to your Android phone with your Google account, they will just sync in.

(Hey, good to see you, man!)

That sounds very tasty and enticing. But also implies that instead of one umbrella solution for music library + auto-downloaded podcasts + listening to my audiobooks (that I rip myself instead of, dunno, getting them from Audible) I need an separate apps for everything. Or is there some good app+PC library manager that will do everything that iTunes did?

UCRC wrote:

(Hey, good to see you, man!)

That sounds very tasty and enticing. But also implies that instead of one umbrella solution for music library + auto-downloaded podcasts + listening to my audiobooks (that I rip myself instead of, dunno, getting them from Audible) I need an separate apps for everything. Or is there some good app+PC library manager that will do everything that iTunes did?

I don't really know to be honest, I don't feel the need to sync around all that much. That said, I do a lot of the things you say: for audiobooks I have Audible app (does its downloads by itself) and Morte player (free) - you just point it to a directory on your SD card and it does its stuff automatically. So instead of sync I just copy folders around. I would guess there are some library management applications for Android but I have not tried any yet.

UCRC wrote:

Having used iOS for last four years I'm absolutely clueless about Android devices. I mean never-had-one-in-hand clueless. Can anyone recommend me good guide explaining basic differences in what I can and can't do on Android phone?
I'm especially thinking about things like downloading and syncing podcasts automatically. Is that a built-in feature? Will I need an extra app? What is the iTunes counterpart for Android on PC?

Welcome to Android! You'll have to let us know what you think about that Moto G. I'm seriously considering a Moto X next time I'm up for a phone...

A few quick notes:

1). Use Pocket Casts (or Doggcatcher) - I think Pocket Casts is generally more popular 'round these parts, but Doggcatcher has a following, too. Either will suit your podcast needs, though I'm unsure as to whether you can simply transfer your list of podcasts from iTunes into these bad boys. Still, searching for your old podcasts is pretty easy, and you can always plug in an RSS feed and it'll find the podcast that way, too (though Pocket Casts almost always finds what I'm looking for). Pocket Casts costs, er, something (I can't tell, 'cause I own it...) and Doggcatcher has a free version and a paid version for $2.99.

2). Use Google Play Music - I may be the only person on here that does this, but when Google Music first launched, I uploaded my 8000 songs to their cloud service and never looked back. I set up Playlists using their web interface, then go to my phone and "pin" my playlists to the device so they download and I don't have to stream them. If I want to change the playlist, I do it on the web interface and it's updated on the phone automatically. Google Music has an "iTunes Match"-like feature that I've never used, as I uploaded everything, but I suspect that may get around iTunes DRM if you've bought music from them in the past without needing to upload your library.

I also use Google Music All Access, which is their Spotify competitor. Either one is a great option if you like listening to music, and both allow you to download whatever you want to your phone. If you want to pay for Spotify, I know they will let you import your iTunes playlist.

3). Use the Google Play Store web interface - There have been more than a few iPhone users that didn't know Android can send apps to phones from the web, rather than having to search for everything on the phone. If you log in under your Google Account, your phone should just "show up" as an option when you click "Install." Very useful!

Hope that helps! Lots of folks around here happy to give recommendations.

DoubleTwist will also do the job. People call it the not sh*tty iTunes of Android. http://www.doubletwist.com/ You can even setup WiFi sync so when you get home it'll sync you music, podcasts and videos as the phone charges.

DoubleTwist will also do the job. People call it the not sh*tty iTunes of Android. http://www.doubletwist.com/ You can even setup WiFi sync so when you get home it'll sync you music, podcasts and videos as the phone charges.

Edwin wrote:

DoublePost will also do the job. People call it the not sh*tty iTunes of Android. http://www.doubletwist.com/ You can even setup WiFi sync so when you get home it'll sync you music, podcasts and videos as the phone charges.

Edwin wrote:

DoubleTwist will also do the job. People call it the not sh*tty iTunes of Android. http://www.doubletwist.com/ You can even setup WiFi sync so when you get home it'll sync you music, podcasts and videos as the phone charges.

Heard good things about DoubleTwist. Never tried it myself. Pretty sure I picked it up for free at some point during an anniversary sale or something...

Edwin wrote:

DoubleTwist will also do the job. People call it the not sh*tty iTunes of Android. http://www.doubletwist.com/ You can even setup WiFi sync so when you get home it'll sync you music, podcasts and videos as the phone charges.

Oh, great! I will check it out and report back. Automatically downloading new podcasts as soon they are available is probably the most important thing for me and iTunes was great for that: come back home, turn on iTunes, sync and I have all of the stuff I want to listen to while commuting ready in literarly two clicks.
I will also report back on Moto G when it arrives. It sounds like really exciting device in that price range.

The DoubleTwist app on Android will handle podcasts and the sync app for your Windows desktop will handle the media on your PC. I don't know of a solution if you have a Mac or Linux.

UCRC wrote:

Oh, great! I will check it out and report back. Automatically downloading new podcasts as soon they are available is probably the most important thing for me and iTunes was great for that: come back home, turn on iTunes, sync and I have all of the stuff I want to listen to while commuting ready in literarly two clicks.
I will also report back on Moto G when it arrives. It sounds like really exciting device in that price range.

Yeah, but, see...with Android...it just downloads...without needing to sync to iTunes.

So while I'm here at work, if a new podcast gets posted, it just downloads. And you can tell Pocket Casts whether you want it to download over-the-air or only on Wifi, so you can place restrictions if you don't want to use up all your data plan.

Seriously, an iPhone can't just automatically download podcasts without syncing to a physical computer!? That's what pushed me over the edge with my old iPod: it got too annoying to have to wait to get home and turn on a computer in order to listen to something I wanted to.

I agree with ilduce620. Outside of hacking I don't have a reason to hook my phone up to a PC. The phone gets whatever I need it to get on its own, and any photos/videos/data get uploaded to the cloud. The great majority of that happens in the background without my having to intervene.

I think the biggest difference between iLand and Android is that Apple stuff tends to be tethered to iTunes for a lot of things that on Android happen on the device itself. I use BeyondPod for my podcasting and have it set up to update overnight. I use Google Play and never have to mess with downloading my music. I back stuff up when on WiFi. I get all my apps and e-books through the phone. In fact, I never connect my phone to anything other than a charger. The bottom line with Android is that it is its own computer and you do everything through it instead of it being essentially an accessory that requires a computer to do a lot of the work.

I get grumpy when I have to mess with my kids' iThingies because it seems so primitive now.

Edit: ilouducefer620-hausered

Recommendation for audiobook apps, if you're still looking for something for ripped books: Simple or Listen. I've got both, and they're both nice.

LouZiffer wrote:

I agree with ilduce620. Outside of hacking I don't have a reason to hook my phone up to a PC. The phone gets whatever I need it to get on its own, and any photos/videos/data get uploaded to the cloud. The great majority of that happens in the background without my having to intervene.

That's all so... future
Thanks for so many great recommendations, you've answered my most burning questions, I think. I'll be back as soon as Moto G arrives with impressions and whole lot more questions. Probably on Friday.

Another vote for Pocket Casts. Does what you need to get Podcasts the very moment they release, not just when you sync. Of course, I used Downcast on ios to do the same thing, so this magic is not exclusive to Android.

Fedaykin98 wrote:

Another vote for Pocket Casts. Does what you need to get Podcasts the very moment they release, not just when you sync. Of course, I used Downcast on ios to do the same thing, so this magic is not exclusive to Android.

For that matter, Pocket Casts is on iOS. Just seems to be a little behind the Android releases.

THE EAGLE HAS LANDED

Impressions soon.

edit: It's great. It's overwhelming. And I knew that Androids were Google-centric devices, but this is over the top. Does anyone know some sort of guide to non-Google alternatives for all major services? I'd like to stay free from at least parts of Google's ecosystem.