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.)