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Pocket Casts 7.0 brings a complete redesign and tons of new features

If you're a podcast lover, you've probably been using Pocket Casts for quite a few years now. It's easily one of the best podcast apps available for Android, and now it's getting even better thanks to its big 7.0 update that's rolling out now. This is the first major update Pocket Casts has received since it was acquired by the NPR-lead radio group in May, and for users that feared the acquisition would stump the growth of Pocket Casts, that actual outcome is the exact opposite.

The biggest thing to take note of with Pocket Casts 7.0 is the new design. The side-mounted hamburger menu is gone and has been replaced by a much simpler bottom navigation bar that houses tabs for Podcasts, Filters, Discover and Profile. Although Pocket Casts was never an ugly app, it's now even cleaner and easier to navigate.

In regards to new features, there are quite a few of them. Here are the biggest highlights.

  • You can now play episodes from podcasts you aren't subscribed to.
  • Episode Search allows you to search for a specific episode of your favorite podcast.
  • The Discovery page uses "human and algorithmic curation" to help you find even better recommendations.
  • Your queue of upcoming podcasts in the Up Next list now syncs across all platforms.

Smaller goodies throughout Pocket Casts 7.0 include new archiving features, playback effects while streaming, a full listening history, improved syncing, and support for seasons and episodes of podcasts. For our Apple friends, Pocket Casts 7.0 also includes support for Siri Shortcuts and an even better Apple Watch app.

The update was first made available for Android as a beta back in November, but as of March 6, 2019, it's rolling out to the Google Play Store for everyone to experience.

Download: Pocket Casts ($3.99) (opens in new tab)

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

27 Comments
  • It's a great new design, but know that if you switch to the beta you'll lose your current Up Next queue! You may want to catch up first. Also it took me a while to find the up next queue. Just swipe up on the full page display of the podcast you are listening to.
  • Just received the update and damn it looks so refreshing and good. Love the bottom tabs for navigation and all the UI elements look so modern.
  • Does the app still rename the podcast files to obscure, long names? That was the main reason that I dropped it --- it would incessantly "lose" previously downloaded podcasts because it would change names from handset to handset.
  • "You can now play episodes from podcasts you aren't subscribed to." YES! Sometimes I just want to listen to 1 episode without subscribing to the pod.
  • WTF? It's awful! Very unintuitive and completely different to other Android apps. It took me a while to find settings and I still can't find where I can set it to auto-delete all but the last two downloaded episodes of my podcast library. Think I need to take another look at Antenna Pod!
  • Yes, didn't need a reset on a UI that worked. Must have hired the Windows 8 guy.
  • Play bar is only visible when you have queued podcasts, throws you off when it deleted that queue when you updated. The LONG scroll it takes to get to the up next list is pathetic, swipable screens were so much easier to use, especially if you're driving.
  • Hmm. Available on iOS first. Only available on Android as a beta. I hope this is not the new way of things since they got eaten up by NPR. Also, exactly where are the app settings located now?
  • You have to select 'profile' and the settings are in there. We also appear to have lost the playlist functionality and have to use 'up next' which is not as straightforward. I've stopped using Pocket Casts now the UI is such a complicated mess. Antenna Pos is open source and closer to what Pocket Casts was.
  • I have been asking for the same two features from Pocket Casts for years, and it appears still not available. First, is a player function on WearOS, so can play Pocket Casts on the watch. Second, is the ability to launch on Google Home devices by voice (not just by casting from a phone/tablet). These announced features really do not add any significant improvements for my purposes.
  • I have a feeling that using their programmers for Wear OS which hardly anyone uses is low on their list, but your last point is something that many people could probably use. I know I definitely would use it. My Wear OS watches sit in drawers not being used.
  • Pocket Casts does work on my Samsung Watch. That said, I haven't loved this update since enrolling in the beta. Hopefully the mixed reviews help make some changes and bring back features like adding custom audio files.
  • I absolutely cannot stand the new version. At least include little pop ups to help walk us through things. What used to take me two minutes to throw together a day's playlist took me ten minutes this morning because apparently doing a full L-to-R swipe on an episode adds it to the top of the playlist. Who builds playlists backwards?! I realize I'll adjust given enough time, but right now the only thing keeping me from leaving for another app is the fact that PC does 2.5 speed playback nearly perfectly and BeyondPod gets lossy around 1.7x. Seriously, PocketCasts, just bring back my ability to long press on an episode and add it to Up Next. That's all I really need.
  • It's a ******* awful update as many beta testers fed back. Will be uninstalling & using previous version. AC do your homework!
  • Does someone know how to mark individual episodes as played? Is 'archived' the same thing? I use this to clean my lists and only highlight the new episodes I really wanna keep track on, and I cant find it anywhere now. It's all about archiving, which doesnt seem to do the trick. Thx!
  • If you tap the episode name it brings up the episode info and a button to "mark played". If you archive though as I did initially it disappears from the episode list, but there is a setting to show archived episodes. When you press the three dot menu button in the podcast of choice, you get that option to show archived.
  • Went from Best to worst in a day. This is an awful redesign and I find it hard to believe anyone could think this was an improvement. Takes way more steps to do anything than it did before. Things are hidden. Seriously, why do I have to go to my profile to see my downloads. There are multiple ways to open and play a podcast but only one of them gives you the ability to scroll forward or back. And there isn't even a proper way to just delete a podcast. I don't want to archive anything, I just want to press down on it and delete it like before. If I can find another podcast app that allows me to manually sort the order in which my subscribed podcasts appear instead of just by name or date added, I will switch immediately. So far after trying 4 or 5 others, I have yet to find one that does.
  • One more change that was added that is nice, but frustrating initially is the speed option is now a global setting. Initially, I thought it was a step backward since I had my audio podcast set anywhere from 1.3x to 1.7x speed depending on the podcasts and video at normal 1x speed. I discovered though that in the individual podcast settings you can go back to the custom setting for that particular podcast. The global option is great if you normally listen to podcasts at chipmunk speeds and then the wife/husband is in the vehicle and can't stand it. You can override anything you had set temporarily without messing up your custom speed settings. A win in my book. After coming at it with a pitchfork on day 1, I've gotten used to the new interface a bit. The only real downside I see, and hope they fix, was the ability to create the playlist by long pressing and selecting all the episodes in the order you want to play them back. The new slide menu for that function is aggravating when you just want to add a bunch to a playlist for your commute. The least they could do is make it so when you slide all the way left to default to bottom of the list and not the top (next).
  • There are sone things that take more actions to do and the change was a bit jarring at first, but I don't think it's that bad. One plus is that I noticed my up next syncs with the Microsoft store PWA now, before I could only see podcasts with progress.
  • What was the version on Android before 7? Need to revert back, this is a $hit show.
  • Not a fan of this update. Adding to Up Next now takes 2 steps instead of one. Playback speed appears to be a global setting, although a previous poster says there's a way around this. I'm going to look for a different app.
  • Still lacking two huge features:
    Ability to launch by voice on Google Assistant devices Download and play podcasts on WearOS devices. This feature has been available on Wearcast app for over a year. Until then, just consider the rest window dressing without real value.
  • I moved to spotify for podcasts now, they want money for every app on every platform. I have paid for the android and iOS version, I sometimes would like to use a desktop and for that the web version costs 9$+tax, desktop apps cost US$10.62. Sorry but no.
  • I don't like the new update. I was working fine... Thinks that I used daily are now difficult to locate. Before using Pocket Casts I was using BeyondPod and they did the same, redesigned something that was working fine. I left BeyondPod and now the same happens with this app. "...by a much simpler bottom navigation bar" That is you opinion, I guess. Did you conduct studies with users?
  • Terrible redesign. An absolute downgrade. Why do these companies always have to try "fixing" what isn't broken? I'm sure Spotify will be happy with all their new podcast listeners though (myself among them)
  • Version 7 is a mess. Ironic I went from an app that I loved to an app I can't tolerate! Fortunately, I found a Version 6.2 and I have auto updates off as default.. I see a lot of individuals share my sentiments. I'll live with Version 6 for as long as I can.
  • I currently use Podcast Addict (and I paid for "donate" to get rid of ads and stuff). If someone can help me "see the light" about why Pocket Casts is so much better, then maybe I'll take the plunge. Otherwise, I'm pretty happy where I am. From what I can glean, the difference seems largely contained to having a desktop app to sync with. That IS cool, admittedly! But I almost never listen to podcasts on desktop. And on the mobile app side, I didn't hear anything in the article that I don't already have in at least similar fashion on P.A.(d). So from where I sit at the moment, I'm not sure whether I would personally stand to benefit much from the change. And even though $12/yr is absolute pocket change, I'm spending $12/yr less in my current arrangement. However, I am wide open to being corrected, and shown why, no, I need this in my life, and need to ditch P.A. right away. So, picture me sitting at one of those "change my mind" tables with a cup of coffee. Come have a seat, if you'd like. :-) Cheers!