Pocket Casts 7 is Now Available on Android

Posted on March 6, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Mobile, Music + Videos with 28 Comments

Four months after the beta started, Pocket Casts 7 and its completely revamped user experience is now generally available on Android.

“Our big version 7 update was a long time in the making,” Pocket Casts Chief Product Officer Russell Ivanovic explains. “It brings major features like being able to play without subscribing, Up Next syncing and even Listening History.”

According to Ivanovic, Pocket Casts 7 was held in beta for a longer than usual time period because it was such a big update, and the company wanted to make sure it got it right. So it gathered feedback, fixed bugs, and made changes as needed until it arrived at the final shipping version.

That said, a change this big is sure to be controversial for some users. I’m a Pocket Casts user, I’ve purchased the app on every available platform, and I recommend it to others. But Pocket Casts 7 has some confusing changes, and even though I’ve been beta-testing the new version for months, some of them are still a bit odd to me and seem to detract from the app’s usability. The new archiving system is perhaps the most glaring example: It’s just not as obvious and logical as it was before.

But there are a ton of changes, and many of them are well-received. These include the ability to play a podcast episode without first subscribing (an odd limitation from before), Up Next sync across devices, listening history, swipe actions on podcast episodes, improved season and episode information, and a completely revamped user experience that includes new Filter and Discover views.

“It’s a small thing we know, but version 7 is full of those small quality of life improvements that when added up really make a difference,” Ivanovic says. I don’t know. This seems like a big thing. And it will take some getting used to.

You can download (or update) Pocket Casts 7 for Android from the Google Play Store. (Pocket Casts for iOS is already at version 7.2.x and the Pocket Casts web player is on its own development path.)

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Comments (28)

28 responses to “Pocket Casts 7 is Now Available on Android”

  1. Daniel Blois

    I like the new version but my BIGGEST problem with it is removing Playlists. I wish they would, instead, make Playlists better than they were on version 6.

    • dhathletes

      In reply to Daniel_Blois:

      They also removed the ability to auto-sort the Next Up playlist, or whatever they call it.

      The only way to change the order is to manually drag items... This makes it practically unusable for me, since I tend to have 30+ items in my playlist at a time.

      I'm giving Podcast Republic a shot now.

  2. bennett_cg

    I ran into an issue with a podcast that was mid-listen (they don't stick around long in my "downloaded-unplayed" queue) when the update was applied. When I went to resume, the file was apparently corrupted and played garbled noise until I deleted the local file and re-downloaded.

    Not sure who else has run into that.

  3. wocowboy

    This new version has some real problems. I have been using the iOS version since it came out, Pocketcasts has been my go-to podcast app for years, I have loved it, but now, not so much. The "Archive" function is completely inscrutable and broken in my opinion. It works pretty well on audio-only podcasts, showing "Archived" when the podcast is over, but when a video podcast finishes, such as 'Windows Weekly" for example, there are always a few seconds shown as unplayed and you have to swipe left to make it show as played and "Archived". What does Archived even mean, really? Has it been actually deleted from your phone, or put somewhere in the app in case you want to listen again later? When I am done listening, I want the app to automatically DELETE the podcast, not archive it, or at least I want the option of having the app delete the file. I have communicated my suggestions to the creators about this.

  4. Awhispersecho

    The new version is awful. It's hard to believe that human beings are being paid to develop something this bad. Can't even delete a downloaded podcast. Clicking on a podcast doesn't give you the ability to control the playback, for that you have to close it then click on it at the bottom of the screen. You need to click on your profile just to get to your downloads. It's torture using the new version.

    I just downloaded 4 other podcast apps and not 1 of them allows you to manually arrange the podcasts in the order you want like pocket casts does. That was the 1 feature that made me choose them in the 1st place and now that I want to move on, I can't find another app that allows that. If anyone has a suggestion that allows manual dragging to arrange your subscribed podcasts In the order you want them, I would greatly appreciate it.

  5. Chris_Kez

    I've been using Pocket Casts 7 on iOS for a few months and I still can't get used to the Archive thing. Maybe I just need to sit down and think through it, but any improved utility it brings has not jumped out at me. Maybe I'm just not archiving correctly?

  6. Ben Moore

    The reviews here and on the Play Store are almost universally negative. I wonder if they got that kind of feedback in beta. Personally I don't like the dark theme and it persists even in "Up Next" when the theme is set to light.

    There are so many UI changes with no way to discern what the new UI will do that I feel frustrated every time I use it. I'm not sure that it is really BAD, just CONFUSING. Some kind of first run help screens would have been a big help.

    And it re-downloaded ALL my podcasts on startup, over 5GB without warning.

  7. RonH

    I am used to the changes now but I find it harder to customize in this version. One thing I noticed: when I updated to 7, it was using my data to download. Luckily I noticed it early on and didn't go over my limit.

    I have left detailed feedback on their site.

  8. billalm

    In case anyone else is experiencing this issue: after the update on my phone, the widget on Microsoft Launcher broke with a "problem loading widget" error. I could not remove or re-add the widget. The solution for me was to uninstall Microsoft Launcher and then re-install it.

  9. AlexKven

    They removed the custom episodes feature, which is a huge bummer. You'd be surprised how hard it is to play an audio file that's not in a podcast feed in the background with the podcast style forward and back buttons.

  10. kjb434

    On Android I enjoy Podcast Guru. It's free with no adds. You can chose to donate to the developer on his site where he takes bug reports and feature requests. It updates regularly since the community supports it.

  11. maethorechannen

    And it will take some getting used to.

    I'm jumping ship. Plex is better than this version and I'm hoping I can find something better than Plex.

  12. Mike Brady

    It surprises me that they've never put this app in the Amazon store. In the evenings I'd love to pick up on my Fire where I left off on my Android phone.

  13. Ruvger

    Yes, the new Pocket Casts is a big disappointment. The interface is inscrutable.

    I have purchased Pocket Casts on every platform and use in on Sonos. It will be painful to migrate but the new version is so bad I will look at the competition.

  14. wunderbar

    I've gotten used to the new version. I don't like it, but I've gotten used to it. It feels like a step backwards in functionality and usability for the sake of a "prettier" redesign.

    The real problem I have is that there is a bug that still exists where sometimes the swipe left or right on a podcast to add it to up next or delete just.... doesn't work. you have to tap the podcast to go into the details, then you can go back and swipe works. This is a bug that has existed since the first beta and it still isn't fixed.

    • mattbg

      In reply to wunderbar:

      Agree - I didn't like it at first and still don't fully understand it, but I can find my way around after a few months and not really stopped from doing the things I want to do.

      It's a bit too unconventional and unlike how other apps behave.

      I'm not sure that's a stellar review, considering I think I fully understood how the last version worked and I'm not sure the new one added any useful functionality for me.

  15. rmlounsbury

    For whatever reason on the last version Pocket Casts would stop playing podcasts arbitrarily throughout the podcast. Didn't matter what platform I used or what device I was on. It always crapped out on my multiple times during the podcast. I moved over to Overcasts on iOS but since I'm going back to Android today I hope this rev of Pocket Casts resolves that bug.

  16. dcdevito

    There was nothing wrong with the old version, with the exception of album art needing to be sync'd manually. I'm not a fan of the new one.

  17. jbinaz

    I wish the list of podcasts showed the notification badges. I miss that feature. That said, I haven't looked to see if that's an option I can change.

    • matt11to5

      In reply to jbinaz:

      Badges are off by default, but if you click on the ... settings menu, you can turn them back on. I did have to quit and open the app again for it to apply the badges.

      • wocowboy

        In reply to matt11to5:
        In the iOS version, there used to be a notification badge on the Home screen app icon showing the number of un-listened podcasts. Now you have to open the app to see is there are any new episodes available being shown by a notification badge on each individual podcast icon. I haven't found a way of turning on notifications for that main app icon.

        Don't get me started on the "Archive" function. It is so horrible and broken that it is absolutely ridiculous.
  18. Dok440

    I've been using Pocketcasts 7 on IOS for months now and at best I can get it work. Its awful. I don't understand the need to have this concept of archived episodes. When I subscribe to a new podcast I get every episode ever created in the unplayed queue (which is now a filter rather than a playlist but I digress). I have to go into the podcast settings and archive all episodes and then re-queue the latest episode i actually want to listen to for re-download. It also doesn't always mark new episodes to the play next list so I have to swipe right on them and add them to the play list. They took something that worked perfectly without any hassle on my part and created an overly complex program that I have to continually monitor and tweak. I'm looking for a new podcast app.

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