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2
Jul

Pocket Casts Web Turns 1.1

webplayer@2x

When we launched the web version of Pocket Casts last year we had no idea how it would be received. It turns out a lot of you loved it. We’re so grateful to see how many of you have paid the once off $9 price and joined us on this amazing journey. Earlier this year we started planning a lot of updates to the service, based on your feedback and some things we’ve wanted to do with it since we launched. Today we’re proud to launch the first of those updates. Here is the change log for version 1.1:

  • You’ve always been a star, we know that. But now your episodes can be too! Collect all your favorites in the side bar.
  • What else does a star need? A platform! Chromecast to your television for that big screen experience (Chrome only, no one ever got famous by running IE).
  • While your stunt double does all the hard work, why not kick back, sort your your episodes in reverse order and find a good story podcast to listen to.

There’s also the feature that the web player now has change logs, which we know a lot of you seem to like reading. Now when a new version comes out with significant changes, you’ll get this appear in the app:

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 10.18.34 am

So sit back, open your browser, go to play.pocketcasts.com and enjoy some great podcasts.

29
Apr

Pocket Casts for Windows Phone

We made Pocket Casts v1.0 for iOS back in January of 2011 with one clear goal in mind: we loved podcasts and wanted them on our phones. It turns out a lot of other people wanted exactly the same thing, the app really took off in a big way.

After releasing it we started to get a lot of requests from an entire group of phone users who were left out in the cold: those running Android. At first we ignored them. We felt like we were too busy and neither of us had ever used an Android phone. But they kept wearing us down, and eventually one of them mailed us a phone. So we did the crazy thing (believe us, a lot of people said it would be our downfall) and brought out an Android version. Today it outsells our iOS version in a big way, it’s the most popular product we’ve ever made.

In 2014 we brought desktop users into the fold with our web version. Again people told us we were crazy to not build natively for the desktop first. Again, the app was a resounding success. Our web app, at a once off $9 fee has outsold most other podcasting apps on any other platforms. People love it, they can easily fire it up at their work places, or at home, or any computer they find themselves in front of. And yet again we learnt some valuable lessons: ‘sometimes you need to ignore common wisdom’ and ‘making podcasts available in more places can only be a good thing’.

So as 2015 was looming large, we were once again having déjà vu. A whole new group of users were left out in the cold: those on Windows Phone. Yet again none of us had ever used a Windows phone and we made the same argument “we’re too busy”. It rang hollow though, our team is now 5 people, bigger than the 2 it was in 2011 when we launched our first version. We have more resources and less apps than we used to. And again and again, these people would tweet at us, email us and just generally tell us how much they were missing the Pocket Casts experience on their Windows Phones.

So yet again, we’ve done the crazy thing. The unconventional thing. We gave those people what they wanted and brought podcasts to another platform that needs them: Windows Phone. Today we’re extremely proud to announce that it’s available right now in the store:
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Version 1.0 is all about making sure we build an app that is both true to Windows Phone and featured enough for us to love. I myself have been using it as my only podcasting app for the last month, and each time I felt something lacking with it, I added that in. Some of the highlights include:

  • Sign into your existing sync account (or create a new one) and watch all your podcast subscriptions, episode filters and play statuses sync over. Of course any new podcasts you add, and where you’re up to also syncs back from Windows Phone to your other Pocket Casts devices!
  • Take advantage of variable speed playback and listen to your podcasts at your pace.
  • Turn on auto download to always have your podcasts ready to go at a moments notice.
  • Create your Up Next list, and enjoy continuous playback of your podcasts in any order you like.
  • Discover brand new podcasts in our featured and trending sections. We’re amazed at how many new podcasts get their start in life thanks to being featured on our platform.
  • Configure our skip buttons to your liking and skip the boring parts, or jump back to the bits you’ve missed.

Just like all our other app launches, this is version 1.0. Your feedback will help us shape version 1.1, version 2, and so on. Shifty Jelly is committed to supporting and updating what we release into the world, this new platform is no different.

But enough talk, if you have a Windows Phone, come and join the fun.

5
Mar

It’s finally here

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We’ve been toiling away on this update for many months now, incorporating a ton of feedback from you and we’re finally ready to share the latest and greatest version of Pocket Casts ever. We know you’re keen to jump right in and check it out so here are some brief highlights of the features we think you’ll be most excited about:

Material Design

We’ve given a lot of thought to Google’s Material Design visual language to produce an app that includes bold graphics and meaningful animations, while maintaining a familiar interface. This is much more than just a skin and we’re sure you’ll agree that both light and dark themes look amazing.
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Up Next

Up Next has been brought to the forefront of the UI for easy access and control of continuous playback. You can now add, remove and jump between episodes, all from the mini player.

miniupnext

Episode Management

Managing episodes has never been easier. Swiping to the left on an episode row will toggle between played and unplayed.

markasplayed

Audio Effects

We worked long and hard to answer the question: ‘How can we improve your listening experience, without interfering with what the podcaster intended for you to hear?’ Enter, audio effects. Volume boost works by increasing playback volume without changing your device volume, allowing you to listen over loud background noise without fear of blaring notifications. Silence removal helps you get through more podcasts faster by reducing the length of extended silences, while maintaining the natural pacing and cadence of your favorite hosts.

audio-effects

Listening statistics!

You can now learn about and share your podcasting habits with the world.

Android Wear

Control the app from your Android Wear device, just like a superhero/ine. Launch Pocket Casts, jump between queued episodes, play, pause and skip, all from your itty bitty wrist.

Lots more

Of course, no update would be complete without bug fixes and performance enhancements, so we’ve included a bunch of those for good measure.

Version 5 of Pocket Casts is a free update and is compatible with Android 4.1 and up, so why are you still reading this? Head over to Google Play and try it out or here to learn more.

4
Mar

A look back, and a peek into the future

A look back

The last year has been an amazing time for podcasts and before we get too far into the next generation of Pocket Casts, we’d like to take a look back and share a few of our highlights.

In early 2014 we ventured out from our fortress of mobile devices and into the browser with Pocket Casts Web, and we’re glad we did. The feedback we’ve received has been overwhelming and we have some awesome plans for new features in the future. If you haven’t already, you can try it out for free here.

Pocket Casts 5 for iOS was released in November 2014 to support iOS 8 and Apple’s gargantuan 6 and 6+. Handoff to Pocket Casts Web is still one of our favourite features, cross-platform syncing has never been so seamless.

Serial! It would be remiss of us not to mention what Serial did for podcasting (and by association Pocket Casts) in 2014. Along with the rest of the world, the Shifty Jelly team obsessed over the conclusion to season 1 for weeks on end. We think 2015 is going to be even bigger and better for podcasting, with plenty of new voices and more from your favourite shows.

Finally, Pocket Casts 5 for Android is coming. Very soon. We’re in the final stages of testing and can’t wait to share it with the world. If you’d like to be notified when it’s released, follow us on Twitter.

Onwards and upwards!

18
Nov

Version 4.8 for Android Now Available

cats

While we’re busy beavering away on the Lollipop update of Pocket Casts (which looks amazing by the way), we thought we’d give you a few new things to play with:

  • Pocket Casts now has actionable notifications, so you can download or stream episodes right from your phone or Android Wear watch. If an episode is auto-downloaded while you’re away, those buttons will change to play and add to Up Next.
  • Variable speed playback has been enhanced so that it now works with more than just MP3 files. On most phones AAC and OGG are also now supported!
  • We’ve fixed quite a few Lollipop bugs, like the skip buttons in the player getting stuck on a colour.
  • You can now choose exactly which podcasts you’d like to be notified about, instead of it being an all or nothing setting.
  • Auto download has been changed by popular request to download any new shows that come out. This is especially handy for people that listen to things like hourly news podcasts, that used to have to download some of these manually if they weren’t around when the shows came out.

So grab it if you haven’t already and enjoy your favourite podcasts just that little bit more. Speaking of which: Adnan totally did it by the way. No way that guy is innocent. Sorry…runs away…

7
Nov

Pocket Casts 5 for iOS, Bigger than the Biggest

iphone_players@2x

After many months of hard work, we’re proud to introduce you to Pocket Casts, version 5. We’ve packed a lot of features and goodness into every free update we’ve released since version 1, and this one is certainly no exception. It all starts with the refreshed interface that supports the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. We’ve made a lot of small tweaks to screens and some huge changes to others. We’ve also incorporated a lot of your feedback into this version as well, a few of the highlights include:

  • Handoff support. For those of you that use our new web player (play.pocketcasts.com) you can now tap one button on your Mac, and it will open the same episode in the web player, auto-loaded to where you’re currently up to. I used it just this morning to finish an episode of Serial. I sat down at my desk at work, opened the app, clicked the little Safari icon in my dock…and BOOM. I continued right on!
  • Actionable notifications. You can now add to Up Next and download directly from a notification, without having to open the app.
  • The sleep timer now remembers the last time you chose, and auto-selects that when you tap it. it’s also more configurable than ever before.
  • You can now mark as played, straight from the Up Next list, when you do, the next item in the list will automatically start playing.
  • It’s now far easy to work with your Up Next list, tapping play on an episode somewhere else, now adds it there, and pushes all your other episodes down by one.
  • Skipping is easier than ever before, just double tap with two fingers anywhere on the now playing screen.
  • Per podcast notification settings, you can now choose to receive notifications for only the podcasts you care the most about.
  • Auto download all new episodes, a huge boon for episodes released in multiple parts..
  • We fixed a lot of other small bugs. All in all this is the biggest update we’ve done since we completely rebooted Pocket Casts last year with version 4.

So be sure to go grab the update if you haven’t already. If you’re reading this and don’t have our app yet, what are you waiting for, go go go!

9
Oct

Announcing: Pocket Casts, for your Web Browser

Poor desktop web browsers. All people ever talk about these days are mobile phones and apps. They must feel so left out! Well no longer friends, no longer. We’re proud to officially announce that Pocket Casts is now available on the web!

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 11.34.17 pm

Starting today, we’re letting anyone who owns one of our existing mobile apps, and has registered a Pocket Casts sync account in them, try it out here:

https://play.pocketcasts.com/

The web app syncs your podcast subscriptions that you already have on your phone, and where you’re up to in each episode. This means you can open your browser, log in, and start listening straight away. It plays both audio and video files so you never have to be without your podcasts again. Whether you need some podcasts to listen to at work, at home, or even at that hipster coffee shop we know you hang out at, we have you covered.

So go crazy, try it out and send your flowers, feedback and felicitations our way.

This is only the beginning. We have a tonne of new features planned. Everything from working more closely with our mobile apps, to allowing new users to sign up directly from the web. Our office whiteboard is littered with so many ideas and plans that sometimes it starts to take on a life of it’s own. The future is white, bright…and covered in white board marker…actually so are my hands.

So go ahead, log in and enjoy some amazing podcasts. We know we will.

22
Sep

The Future Is Now

We’re a wee bit excited in the office this morning. We’re adding something very cool to the Pocket Casts universe very soon. If you want to join in the excitement, head on over here and sign up:

https://play.pocketcasts.com/register/beta

Between this, the iOS 8 updates that we’re working on, and Android L we’re insanely excited about the future of all our apps on all your platforms.

17
Mar

The Best Pocket Casts Yet

pocket casts 4.5

After many months of hard work we’d like to introduce you to our latest update: Pocket Casts v4.5 for Android. Don’t be fooled by the ‘.5′ part there’s a lot that’s new:

  • Chromecast support: send your favourite podcasts straight to your TV with a single tap.
  • Up Next playlist: no need to wonder what’s playing next, flick right on the now playing screen and see. Re-arrange items to your heart’s content, and quickly skip between them too.
  • Colourful Awesomeness: podcast authors have some amazing artwork. The new Pocket Casts automatically detects colours from the artwork and brightens the interface in subtle, but powerful ways.
  • Modern Android Interface: When Pocket Casts 4 first came out, it was everything that was right about Android design. Since then Android has moved forward, and now so have we. See your podcasts in a whole new light.
  • Enhancements Galore: We’ve re-written so many parts of Pocket Casts to make it faster, more robust and better than ever before. There’s a million little details that have gone into this update and we can’t wait for you to experience them.

So what are you waiting for? Head over to the Google Play Store and grab it now!

14
Jan

Pocket Weather Android Update: So Hot

Pocket Weather 4

After many months of hard work, we’re proud to announce that Pocket Weather Australia version 4 is now available for Android. It’s a free update to all existing users who have Android 4.0 or above on their devices. As Australia heats up this summer there’s no easier way to check exactly what’s happening in your local area. Here’s just a few of the things that are new to version 4:

Built for Android
The user interface has been designed from scratch to suit the modern Android experience. The result is a clean, dynamic and concise app that will make your friends envious.

Tablet ready
We love our Nexus 7 and 10, perhaps a little too much. As a result, we’ve improved the tablet design. All of Pocket Weather’s features are optimised for larger devices.

Customise your weather
In Pocket Weather 4.0, you can choose which observations appear on the main overview page of the app. You can also rearrange the order of the sections.

Extremely local observations
If your phone supports it, you can read the temperature, pressure and humidity via your device’s sensors.

Tides
We’ve re-thought how tides work in Pocket Weather. In 4.0, they’re treated as a location, are faster, look nicer and are all round better.

So whether you’re new to Pocket Weather, or you’ve been with us since version 1 there’s no better time to grab the update .

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