Grover Pro comes highly recommended by our own editor Daniel Rubino, and you can read all about it in his early 2016 review. At the time, the phone version was still in development, but time has passed and the app and its developer haven’t stopped.
For example, this excellent Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app is now also available on HoloLens and Xbox One. OK, basically nobody has the first device, but a lot of people have an Xbox One.
More than a year after we last took a look, we’re returning to Grover Pro to see why it’s still the one to choose for Windows 10 podcast fans.
Download Grover Pro from the Windows Store
Grover Pro Feature List
- UWP app available on Windows 10 PCs, tablets and mobiles, HoloLens, Surface Hub and Xbox One
- Import and export OPML feeds
- Stream audio podcasts
- Video podcasts with streaming support
- Search and subscribe to podcasts using the search box
- Option to automatically delete already listened to podcasts
- Option to show system notification
- Option to automatically download new podcasts
- Rearrange the podcast catalog (drag and drop)
- Light and dark themes
Great form and function
I’ve often said that there are third-party apps on Windows 10 that outperform equivalents on other platforms, and apps from top developers. The same goes for Grover Pro. It’s definitely better than Microsoft’s own podcast app, and I’m happy to say it’s better than the Apple app you’ll find on an iPhone or iPad.
If you’re looking for a lesson in what Windows 10 apps should “look like,” Grover Pro is near the top of that class. It uses the split view/hamburger/☰ menu to hide options while your podcasts fill most of the screen.
The default view is “My Podcasts” and on startup Grover Pro will refresh them all, adding new episodes. This, like many other options, can be disabled, but I find it better than having a background task to do the same thing. If I open the app, I want to listen to a podcast, and a few seconds for it to refresh doesn’t hurt.
You also have a two-fer in terms of downloading new episodes. There is an option in the settings to download all new episodes, but you can also disable downloads over metered connections. This way you can load your latest shows at home just by opening the app, saving your data for when you need it most.
I’m also a big fan of using OneDrive to sync app data across devices. No other account is required, just the one you already have. Grover Pro also uses the iTunes API if you want to use it to help you find new shows. iTunes is probably the biggest database of podcasts, so that doesn’t hurt.
A top app on all devices
I don’t have a HoloLens or Surface Hub to try this out, but I’m sure it’s fine. It is also very good on mobile as well as Xbox One.
Our previous app look focused a lot on mobile, and all of the above applies. There’s no shortfall on a smaller screen, you get all the same options as on PC, and it’s absolutely the best choice for podcast fans on the go.
Since our first look, Grover Pro has made the jump to Xbox One. There are no cut corners, so you get everything you could want. In other words, all the features of the PC and mobile version, but with a slightly modified interface for the larger screen.
The “now playing” screen is a bit different, and by that I mean better, and you also have full background audio support. So if you prefer to listen to podcasts while gaming, you can, and you also get the little audio control widget for the Xbox Guide app.
Navigating with a controller is very easy, and since everything is in the same place as on the PC version, it’s immediately familiar if you already own it.
Getting apps like this to the console is one of the big wins for the UWP project.
At the end of the line
In our original look, Rubino said he couldn’t think of a better podcast app for Windows 10 right now. Fast forward a little over a year and it still holds. Only now, that $2.99 asking price is even better value. You get a sleek and well-designed app, and you get it on your PC, tablet, phone, and Xbox. HoloLens support already means we’re looking to the future with Windows Mixed Reality.
If you like podcasts and like good apps, buy this one.
Download Grover Pro from the Windows Store
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