Last week I reviewed the great podcast app Pocket Casts, an app that I have no hesitation in recommending to anyone who is looking for a solid podcast app for the Android (or iOS or Windows Phone) devices. This week, as these things go, the developer of Pocket Casts, Shifty Jelly, has released a significant update to that app that brings a host of new features and improvements. Two of the big ones are time-based filters and support for Android Marshmallow data backup. The update is version 5.3 for those keeping score at home and it is available now in the Google Play Store.
“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.” according to the release notes from Shifty Jelly. The best example of when to use this is if you have a lot of podcasts to listen to or watch and you only want to catch up on the last 2 or 3. It makes searching and sorting much easier.
The other big items is support for Android Marshmallow data backup. Now the app will back up Pocket Casts settings and database as part of the Marshmallow Backup & Restore feature. This will make getting back on track with the app much faster and easier should you ever have to restore your phone. The app also now supports the new permissions structure in Marshmallow.
Voice control through “OK Google” has also been improved in this release. Now you can use your voice to play a podcast by name or a playlist by name just by saying “Listen to (podcast name) in Pocket Casts”.
Here is the full rundown of the changes and improvements in this release of Pocket Casts:
- 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
As you can see, that’s a lot of fixes, improvements and new features. Enjoy them and enjoy this great podcast app.