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.)
<blockquote><a href="#409425"><em>In reply to matt11to5:</em></a></blockquote><blockquote><em>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. </em></blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote><em>Don't get me started on the "Archive" function. It is so horrible and broken that it is absolutely ridiculous. </em></blockquote>
<p>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.</p>