If you love something, set it free, or so the saying goes. Pocket Casts has been a paid app since 2010 when it first launched. Back then we had a small company to run and people's families literally depended on us charging for our app. It was a business model that worked well in terms of paying the bills, but always caused confusion with our customers. "Do I have to pay again if I switch from a robot phone to a fruit based one?", "Why is the app paid?", "How can I recommend this to friends when it will require them to pay?".
Today, things are different. We have the backing of some amazing partners, all of whom come from, and firmly believe in, an open access model. For a while now we've felt that charging for the app conflicted with their core values of being open and available to everyone. Clearly we had to do something about it, and so in the spirit of Shifty Jelly of yore, we did. After many months of hard work, we introduce you to version 7.5!
If you want a detailed write up on everything that's changing and why it's changing please visit our blog (blog.pocketcasts.com). We'd love to share some highlights on here though:
- The app is now completely free, and every feature previously available in the paid version is still available in the free version.
- We've introduced a completely optional premium tier: Pocket Casts Plus. Among other benefits, Plus members get exclusive access to new themes and icons.
- You can now import your own audio files into Pocket Casts and listen to them sped up and with silences removed. Plus members can also upload these files to the cloud so they are available on all your devices.
- Improved account control. You can now do things like change your email and password inside the app, without having to go to the web.
- Performance enhancements and fixes. We spent a large part of this release focussing on performance and usability, tweaking and honing the app to make it our most refined release yet.
We hope you'll join us on this next stage of our journey. To all of you who haven't told a friend about us because our app was paid, now's your chance!
Ratings and Reviews
Syncing is still really bad if you listen on two devices.
There are many good things about PocketCast (Video Support, Playback Effects, background downloading, notifications, etc.). But there are three things that bother me. 1) If you listen on an iPad and and iPhone regularly your syncing will be messed up all the time. For instance, open iPad app and watch a video show. Then open on your phone later an audio show and stop. Perhaps that evening you open your iPad again to resume the video you were watching that morning. It will sync the iPad back to your iPhone the play position of your audio podcast from that morning, not where you left off on your iPhone later in the day. I’m constantly opening Pocket Casts on my phone to find that my listening position was reverted back 20-30 minutes earlier than I left off. 2) I think the playback screen has an unnecessary bar at the bottom with the tools. Remove that bar and just put the icons for playback effects and others without it. 3) The cover art for the podcast is not centered properly on the iPhone X, XS, and XS Max iPhone. That’s just poor design. Please Russell and Co. fix these problems.
Bad update, unprofessional response
I was glad to find Pocket Casts at first. It was a decent cross-platform app, with a couple weird quirks, but the best option for me. I opted into the beta and wasn’t as fond of it, but decided to give it some time for me to adjust and explore. Some basic, useful features were lacking or implemented strangely and the UI change was a huge step back, considerably less intuitive.
Unfortunately, they didn’t really improve on any of these problems for the release despite feedback from users. I know it’s impossible to give every user what they want. Plus, so many users are too entitled and demanding. That doesn’t warrant not listening to them at all, or responding flippantly and condescendingly to feedback. Many of the developer responses have been deleted because it “doesn’t represent who they are” (except ... yes it does, because that’s literally how they’re representing themselves). I’m not surprised to see the drop in their ratings, which they reset recently in hopes of erasing the negative ones, I guess?
They already have the money of existing users, so maybe they don’t feel like it’s as important to respect them. But I know I will no longer be recommending Pocket Casts to anyone else. Fortunately, there are cross-platform alternatives I look forward to checking out instead, like Castbox.
Differences from 6.x to 7.3
It’s now a better tool for episode cherry-pickers. The ability to sort by Downloaded status brings the 5 you’ve pulled down from a list of 500 to the fore. It’s strange that you cannot now, by default, tell a downloaded episode from an undownloaded one, but there’s a setting to fix that.
I also appreciate the new option to delay the deletion of a completed episode for 24 hours. Combined with a new End Of Episode setting for the sleep timer, this removes the stress of falling asleep to an episode you might run off the end of.
For my uses, the only downside, and a minor one at that, is reduced information density in the episode list. You can’t see as many on a screen anymore, and the new, omnipresent Search field (rarely useful) takes up additional vertical space, making a very small knothole indeed when combined with the miniplayer and bottom toolbar. I’d suggest making Search show only when pulling from the very top of the list, as is a convention in many other apps, or just let me scroll it off the page as the episode list scrolls.
- Podcast Media, LLC
- 75.1 MB
Requires iOS 11.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
- Age Rating
- Rated 9+ for the following:
- Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humor
- Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes
- © Podcast Media LLC
- In-App Purchases
- Plus Yearly $9.99
- Plus Monthly $0.99
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.
Get things done within this app using just your voice.