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April 29, 2015

Pocket Casts for Windows Phone

by shiftyjelly

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.

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