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19
Jan

Pocket Casts 5.3, Android

The first update for Pocket Casts Android is out. Version 5.3 brings a host of fixes and even a few features to make the app even better.

A look back

The full change log:

  • You can now filter episodes by time. In the filter settings page there is a new option called “Released in the last” which you can set to 24 hours, 3 days, 1 week etc. We have changed the episode filters new users will have and this update will also add them to your list of filters.
  • Marshmallow Auto Backup feature added so if you have app backups turned on (System Settings app -> Backup & reset) it will backup your Pocket Casts settings and database so after restoring a phone your app should look a lot more like it did.
  • Switched to Marshmallow permissions. We now only have one permission that requires user approval, the storage permission. The app will only ask for permission for this if you change your storage location to a custom folder.
  • Stats page data is now included in your sync account so if you reinstall they aren’t lost. The stats page is now a summary of stats across all your devices.
  • Improved switching to a custom location so it picks up any existing episode files in the new location.
  • Improved the search for podcast interface.
  • Improved voice control. Give these a try after you have said “OK Google”
    “Listen to PODCAST NAME in Pocket Casts”
    “Listen to PLAYLIST NAME in Pocket Casts”
    “Listen to Up Next in Pocket Casts”
  • New discover Nearby animation.
  • Added a message for the podcast grid if you don’t have any podcasts.
  • Faster podcast unsubscribe.
  • Fixed issues with video player in landscape.
  • Fixed mailto linking in show notes so it opens your mail client with all the fields populated.
  • Fixed sync issue with very old starred episodes.
  • Fixed the episode time left not updating in the list when returning to the app
  • Emojis are now supporting in the show notes and episode titles.
  • Lots of little fixes
15
Jan

Pocket Weather – Android Update

Fresh from Shifty Jelly HQ to you, Pocket Weather 5 arrives on Android.

pocketweather_android@2x

Some of the highlights include:

  • Design refresh which brings our app into the colourful and amazing world of Material Design.
  • Dark Theme! Almost anyone you bump into with an Android phone will tell you the amazing virtues of dark themes on OLED screens. By default it will auto switch to being dark after sunset, but you can also change it manually as well.
  • 2016 tides, because fishing, diving, boating and general water activities shouldn’t be left in 2015.
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow support, mmmm, so good, roasted on the bonnet of my Mitsubishi wagon…
  • Lots of other small tweaks and improvements, my personal favourite being the new week overview graph. Hint: When the dots go red, it’s time to huddle in your air-conditioned homes and offices.

So what are you waiting for, go grab the update. Tell a friend. Convince an enemy to buy it.

17
Dec

Pocket Weather 5.1

pocketweather5@2x

Thanks for all your feedback to date, we’ve been reading it all and making improvements to the app based on it. This update is mainly a bug fix and minor update release, but rest assured that there are bigger updates to come. The iPad interface in particular is something we intend to focus on. We intend to roll those out slowly and deliberately with lots of testing rather than rushing them out before the holiday break.

Some highlights for this release:

  • Added ‘Graph Feels Like’ option in settings for those that are into that
  • Added current temperature reading to the location list
  • Current temperature on the main screen now has 1 decimal point
  • Fixed an issue where turning on bold text would cause some temps to not be displayed. You can now turn Bold back on in your accessibility settings if you’ve turned it off to get them to appear.
  • Fixed issues with the warning icon and accessibility settings
  • Fixed app icon badge not updated properly when you close the app
  • Fixed crashes related to re-ordering locations
  • Fixed an issue where the warning icon would wander off down the page. No idea why but it really didn’t want to be in the top right. Rebels are like that sometimes.
  • Fixed performance issues with older iOS devices
  • Tweaked the order of the layers on the radar card so that important things are still visible when it’s raining
  • Warnings can now be opened directly from a notification, also fixed issues with loading of warnings
  • Drastically reduced memory usage of the app
  • Tide height now updates as you scroll the tide graph
  • Lots of other small performance fixes and improvements

We hope you enjoy 5.1, and your holiday break. We’ll see you all in the new year!

10
Dec

Pocket Casts iOS Update

It doesn’t feel like that long ago but in mid September we published this in a blog post:

Timing wise it will also ship this year, but we’re keeping the date a secret until just before launch.

Since then a lot of you have been sitting on the edge of your seats waiting for this release, and we know the clock is ticking. So today we have some news for you all!

pocketcasts_beta@2x

As you’ve guessed, we haven’t been able to finish the app in time to make the end of year cut-off. Delays to our other app that we shipped last week, Pocket Weather, spilled over into delays for Pocket Casts. This is, alas, how software development often goes.

That said we don’t intend to leave you empty handed. You’ve all waited too long, and hassled us (in the nicest possible ways) too much. So we’re going to let 100 lucky people into our TestFlight beta that we’re prepping. The beta will be available next week. You can register here http://play.pocketcasts.com/ios/beta. We’ll notify you if you get accepted and you get to be part of shaping the future of our iOS app. No pressure.

19
Aug

Sharing is Caring

discovernearby@2x

We live life in the fast lane. Not just us, you too Fred, and you, Sally. When was the last time you stopped to smell the roses, or made time to connect with someone? Introducing, Nearby for Pocket Casts Android.

You can now open up the Nearby tab in Discover to find nearby Android Pocket Casts users (get them to do the same), and see what they’re listening to, easily subscribe and share your own subscriptions. It’s never been easier to discover great new podcasts and spread the word.

Of course, we’re all about freedom of choice, so while we share this cool new Android feature with you, we’re also working on a massive update to Pocket Casts on iOS. We’re not quite ready to share it with you, but with the overwhelming support we’ve received in response to our 5.0 update to Android, we know what you want in the next generation of Pocket Casts on iOS, and we’re working hard to bring it to you soon.

In the meantime, head over to Google Play to update Pocket Casts Android (also includes a bunch of fixes) and remember: stay cool.

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:
pic

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

header

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.
playerbutton

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!

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.

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