One of the key features of Android Wear 2.0 is the introduction of standalone apps. This feature lets you bypass the need for your phone to send data to your smartwatch apps and instead allow Android Wear apps to run on their own. One such app is Wear Casts, a recently released Android Wear app that is the first standalone podcast app.
In terms of features, Wear Casts remembers the last played position for each of your podcasts, notifies you when a new episode is available, and automatically creates playlists for downloaded and currently playing podcasts. The app also responds to external audio commands and lets you manage when you want the app to sync.
Dear Google, When will you fix Android Wear?
Interestingly, Wear Casts brings a companion phone app, but it’s only used to add podcasts to your Android Wear smartwatch and if you want to use it as a backup player. Even better, you can stream and download episodes from your watch, if you want.
Overall, Wear Casts is a no-frills podcasting app for Android Wear that seeks to bypass your smartphone as much as possible. I’m sure the developer will continue to optimize the app and add more features in future updates.
To that end, I reached out to the developer, Reddit user GrinchPaws, who told me he’d like to implement two main features in future updates: more auto-playlists and support for additional external Bluetooth controls.
As for the former, Wear Casts currently only has two automatic playlists: “Now Playing” and “Downloads.” In the near future, the developer hopes to add “New” and “Unplayed”, as well as custom playlists.
As for Bluetooth controls, GrinchPaws hopes to include additional controls such as fast forward, rewind, fast forward, and rewind. He is also studying voice control to achieve the same functions, although this is more of a possibility than something concrete.
In addition to features, GrinchPaws also wants to include the ability to reorder and sort podcast and episode lists, as well as fix the UI and UX.
If there’s enough here to have piqued your interest, Wear Casts is available to download for free via the Google Play Store at the link below. Keep in mind that your phone must be running at least Android 6.0 Marshmallow and your watch must be running at least Android Wear 2.0 for this to work.