Complaints about Apple Podcasts app
Apple’s revamped Podcasts app has a different format, and episode management works in a completely different way. This angered users, who have been complaining about Apple’s Podcasts app for years. The sync never actually worked properly and it has only gotten worse since the update. Users noticed that tens of gigabytes of old episodes were downloaded to their device and listening to one episode has suddenly become very difficult. Apple now says it has resolved “a problem” that has been going on since April 29. But the question is whether that is enough.
According to Apple, there has been an outage of the Apple Podcasts app since April 29. That was three days after the release of iOS 14.5. On the status page the following could be read: “Users are experiencing a problem with this service. We are investigating and will update the status as more information becomes available. ” A small part of the users would be affected, according to Apple. No further explanation was given, so we do not know exactly which problem is involved.
These unspecified issues should now be resolved.
Problems with Podcasts app since iOS 14.5
Since iOS 14.5, the Podcasts app has a different format and works in a slightly different way. This has aroused resentment among users, especially as usability has been reduced. There are numerous complaints on Twitter and Reddit from people who are suddenly saddled with old episodes, which they cannot remove after listening. The app also downloads dozens of episodes without being asked. It’s all part of a new way of working, where you can now follow podcasts instead of subscribing to them. The term “subscribe” now covers podcasts that offer additional features for a fee.
A problem that has been around for some time has to do with synchronization. That has not worked well for some users for years. The library does not sync between devices and no new episodes are loaded. The settings are also not transferred to your other devices. New since iOS 14.5 is that episodes are missing and no show notes are visible on the ‘Now Playing’ screen. If you do see the show notes, you can no longer tap on them to open a link.
Apple doesn’t seem to be really taking the issues seriously and has made no attempt to fix it in recent years. Fortunately, there are plenty of other podcast apps for iPhone, but people want Apple’s own app to work well too.
The update to iOS 14.5 ensures that the Podcasts app and underlying servers work differently. They collect episode data from RSS feeds in a different way. Previously, if you tried pull-to-refresh to fetch new episodes, Apple would pull new data from the range of podcast feeds you subscribed to. Since iOS 14.5, Apple no longer looks directly at your RSS feed, but only retrieves the data from Apple’s database. Apps like Overcast and Pocket Casts do this too, but Apple checks less frequently. While Overcast checks every minute, Apple does it every two hours, the Podnews website found. So you will have to wait longer to see a new episode, for example from the iCulture podcast.
There is now no way to manually check for new episodes of your favorite shows. Pull-to-refresh only checks Apple’s iTMS server and does not look at your RSS feeds. So you will have to wait until Apple presents you with a new episode. With Overcast you will immediately receive an update.
Podcast creators complain about the dashboard to which they have to upload episodes. A list of complaints can be found here.