Tyler Barth

iOS developer and UX Designer

The Joy of Podcasts: Android or Non-Apple Tech Podcasts

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You may have noticed that the bulk of the technology podcasts I listen to are focused on Apple. I admit my strong interest in all things Apple. I use their products and hope to build a career on them.

However, upon realizing that all of the podcasts I listen to are Apple analysis (though they often discuss other parts of the mobile space), I wanted to find some views from the other side.

I went in search of podcasts about Android or non-Apple mobile technology, if only to check my biases and make sure my vision doesn’t become constrained. I wanted to find something like an Android or Windows Mobile version of Marco Arment or John Siracusa. I wanted someone with strong opinions they were willing to defend and someone who would recap recent news stories and provide industry analysis, but less focused on Apple and more focused on the other companies in the tech industry.

I asked Android developer friends and searched rather exhaustively. I ended up finding a few different shows:

  • This Week in Tech: Okay, but kind of boring.
  • This Week in Google: Same.
  • Motodev: Too technical, not what I’m looking for.
  • All About Android: stopped after five minutes, too chatty.
  • Android Central Podcast: see below.

I listened to an entire episode of Android Central podcast. I wasn’t very impressed with the analysis or attitude. They seemed noncommital and nonjudgmental for too many things. They were unwilling to state an opinion and defend it, and more likely to equivocate as compared to the 5by5 hosts who are willing to call a spade a spade and point out when something is poorly designed and unlikely to be used or appreciated by most people.

For example, in the episode I listened to no one was willing to say anything bad about the failed HP Touch Pad. No one would state the obvious that it probably isn’t a very good idea to buy a device which is unlikely to be supported in the future, and that it doesn’t make much sense to buy another gadget just to have it lying around the house (an attitude I grew out of years ago).

The one exception is the occasional co-host who has a strong anti-Apple stance, but in the episode I listened to they just dismissed Apple and didn’t defend their reasons for doing so.

This podcast also seemed to adopt the “pile on the host” podcasting philosophy which I mentioned earlier. They had a bunch of guys in the episode but none of them were memorable or seemed particularly insightful. The same criticisms apply to a lesser extent to Leo Laporte’s podcasts (the first two listed). I found them okay but not interesting enough to keep me coming back.

Maybe I am so trapped in Apple’s “reality distortion field” that these podcasts are actually full of mature, insightful analysis and I just can’t see it. Maybe, for whatever reason, there is just less market for this kind of podcast in the non-Apple world, or there aren’t enough charismatic defenders of other companies’ mobile products.

If anyone has some further recommendations I’m open to trying out some other technology podcasts. Maybe if Metro is a hit some Microsoft-focused mobile podcasts will emerge.

In the end, this is a bit of a trick post. After all that searching, I didn’t find any Android podcasts to permanently add to my lineup. The Arment or Siracusa of the non-Apple world either doesn’t exist or hasn’t emerged.

This completes my series of posts about my favorite podcasts. I hope this has been useful to some people out there.