After the update to iOS 14.5, along with app updates for several apps, the Podcasts app seems to have taken a turn for the worse. Not for all, but certainly for some, the newest update to the Apple Podcasts app has hit a bit of a log jam. One of the reasons for bad reactions people are having to the latest Apple Podcasts app is a the switch Apple’s made to handling individual podcast episodes. The old library is effectively gone.
Apple changed the way users interact with Podcasts with this latest update. Originally, a user could show interest in a single episode of a podcast, and add that episode to their library. With the new way, Apple’s directing users to focus more on the podcaster – making the entire app more like a social network of sorts.
The library became more like a feed – but with the switch, users suddenly have unplayed episodes of every podcast they’ve ever followed all in a big mass. Podcasts are now by default sorted in chronological order by followed-by (AKA subscribed) date. At the same time, the app’s removed the “recently updated” tab entirely.
As noted by MacRumors, some users report that new episodes of podcasts do not load as they’re released, while other episodes do not load at all. It’s not like these issues are unsolvable, but such a significant UX change to an app used by so many users every single day should probably have had a bit more of an ease-into-this process in play.
If you’re using the Apple Podcasts app and need an Apple Podcasts alternative, take a peek at the Overcast app or the web, iOS, and Android-compatible Google Podcasts. There’s always Pocket Casts, or the Pandora app for your desktop. Also worth a peek: Himalaya, Castbox, and Procast.