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September 30, 2013

Pocket Casts Launches Into The Exosphere

by Russell Ivanovic

I’m not sure if you noticed, but last week Apple launched iOS 7. It was a big deal. We launched Pocket Casts 4 at the same time, it was also a big deal. Today we launched version 4.1 which includes all the features that didn’t quite make it into 4.0, as well as updates based on your feedback and of course the usual raft of bug fixes. We’re very excited about the future of Pocket Casts and we have some big plans for the future. Today though we’d like to recap how the launch went.

After waking up at 2.30am in Australia to push the release button, we were pleasantly surprised by Apple having picked our app to feature in quite a number of spots.

iTunes Feature banner

First and foremost a massive banner in the news category, and also in the ‘Designed for iOS 7’ section:

Designed for iOS 7

When we threw out all our old version 3 code, and started a new Xcode project at the beginning of 2013 we spent a lot of time on design and workflow. When Apple announced iOS 7 at WWDC in June, we changed course again. Our aim was always to build a podcast listening app that was easy to use, fitted in perfectly with iOS and looked amazing. Clearly Apple feels we nailed it and we couldn’t think of better approval than that.

Next up the reviews started to roll in, here’s a few quotes we’ve picked out:

“I’ve thoroughly been enjoying Pocket Casts 4, and it’s booted Instacast off of my home screen. I’m in love with the natural iOS 7 design, subtle custom colors, transparencies, and intuitive interface. Plus, the syncing is easy and fast. This is what an iOS 7 podcast client should be, and I’m glad Shifty Jelly made it.”

Christine Chan, App Advice

“I’ve been trying out Pocket Casts 4 for a while now, and it does a great job providing robust, power user features in a way that stays incredibly clean and clear”

Rene Ritchie, iMore

“This isn’t just a reskinning of an old app. It is an app that truly understands and lives on iOS 7. Everything in the app has been redone to look pixel perfect on your iPhone or iPad…”

Mikhail Madnani, Beautiful Pixels

“I’ve switched to Pocket Casts 4 as my podcast client of choice…Besides design choices and animations, the app’s navigation, sync, automatic downloads, and filters work better for me and for the way I like to listen to podcasts.”

Federico Viticci, MacStories

“Pocket Casts 4 represents what iOS 7 is all about. If you love podcasts, this is a must download”

Clay Russell, iPhone Addict Reviews

“This app really looks native to iOS 7 without just being derivative of what Apple is doing”

Ryan Witwam, PC Mag

“I find Pocket Casts 4 the be the best overall podcast management app for iOS, and a perfect way to usher in the dawn of a revisioned iOS.”

Jesse Virgil, App Storm

We also rated a mention on The Verge and even a shout out on Reddit, for a dialogue I wrote at 2am. In short thanks to your amazing support, we had our best app launch in the history of Shifty Jelly. We made it into the Top 50 paid apps in the US, and were at #2 in our category as well. As small independent developers with little to no marketing budget, we can’t tell you how great that feels.

For those of you that have followed us for a while though, you’ll know that we’re not going to retire on our amazing launch and take the rest of the year off. We’re already planning future updates for the app as well as some new and innovative things in the world of podcasting that no one else has done before. We’re not ready to talk about that today, but rest assured we still have more things in the pipeline that should blow your collective minds. So strap yourselves in, and enjoy the Shifty Jelly Experience (Patent Pending). Also if you got all the way way here and haven’t bought the app yet, shame on you, go buy it right now on the App Store.

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