You may enjoy listening to your favorite podcasts on your iPhone, but lugging your phone every time during workout sessions or while running is indeed a hassle! Five years ago, watchOS 5 added access to the Apple Podcast app, and there is no going back! So let’s get into more insights about the Apple Watch Podcasts App!
What is the Apple Watch Podcast App?
If you have an Apple watch, there is a high chance that you can easily access Apple podcasts via your Apple watch. The Apple podcasts app of watchOS 5 is built into every model of Apple Watch out there.
There are multiple features in the app to choose from. You can change the playback speed, switch to other playlists, and many more. Your files will be synced directly from your iPhone.
Benefits of Using the Apple Watch Podcast App
Integrating your Apple podcast app to your Apple Watch comes with many benefits that are pretty much common for any other podcast player! A few of them include,
- You can add new podcast subscriptions right from your Apple watch.
- Any podcast which is listed on the Episodes section of the Podcast app gets downloaded into your Apple Watch podcast app. You can listen to them anytime offline without the requirement of network connectivity!
- You can also control podcasts on your iPhone via your Apple watch.
And many more…
Issues with Apple Watch Podcast App
The benefits of the Apple Watch Podcast App are limitless. However, there are certain downsides or issues which are very prevalent with the Apple Watch podcast app. Let’s check them out.
Inflated Download Counts
In 2020, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Tech Lab accused the Apple Watch of inflated download counts. They have witnessed significantly inflated download counts, which is surely a matter of concern for podcasters. It could be a step toward gaining more advertisers, which is illegitimate. Hence, accuracy was at stake and of huge importance as well.
According to them, the Apple Watch validates an “inherent behavior that triggers non-user initiated podcast downloads,” which are considered standard downloads by servers.
They claimed that during the synchronization cycle between the iPhone and Apple Watch, the Apple Watch downloads the podcasts via the iPhone’s data connection instead of just copying it to the Apple Watch! This way, the Apple Watch is downloading a second copy, resulting in a higher downloading count!
Currently, one of the common issues many users are facing is several download restrictions. The Apple Watch Podcasts App only syncs to the Apple Watch while it is on a charge if you do not have cellular connectivity.
It is certainly not feasible to carry the charger everywhere you go! Hence, by the end, you won’t be able to sync the podcasts to your Apple watch and listen to them if you do not carry your charger everywhere you go!
Feature Suggestions the Apps Can be Better
Here are some suggestions that can make the Apple Watch Podcasts app better and combat the above complications.
Distinguish the Automatic Downloads
According to the Tech Lab, the best way to combat this download count inflation is to differentiate between automatic downloads and valid user-initiated downloads from every Apple Watch device.
Even though it may seem slightly challenging, certain changes and guidelines have been revised to achieve the same. This change will help in reducing the extra download counts and prevent frequent inflation.
Direct Downloads Over Wi-Fi or Cellular Data
To combat the download restrictions, the apple watch podcast app should be updated, and all the content should be downloaded right from the Wi-Fi. This would save users from the hassle of carrying the charger everywhere they go, which is simply irritating at times!
Show Notes Access
You cannot find Show Notes on your Apple watch even after syncing the Apple podcasts app. For many listeners, the show notes are highly important since it contains some description of the podcast, relevant URL, and many more.
Hence, in the next update, the option to view show notes would be a great choice to add for podcast listeners!
Alternative Apps to Play Podcasts from Your Apple Watch
After all such complications, it is certainly not worth spending the time and effort on the Apple Watch Podcast App when you have many other better choices! Here are a few alternative apps to play podcasts right from your Apple Watch!
Outcast is a great alternative to the Apple Watch podcasts app since it offers many similar iPhone functionalities with no similar bugs!
For starters, you can either search for your favorite podcast by entering the podcast URL into the iPhone app or by browsing the directory of podcasts right from your Apple watch.
If you have already subscribed to any podcasts in other iOS podcast apps like Pocket Cast or Overcast, you can easily migrate those subscriptions to Outcast in OPML format with a few clicks!
You can now download your favorite episodes, and you will find them in an individual menu. If you want to tweak the playback controls, tap on any one of the episodes, and you can find all the settings.
MiniCast works great as a transfer tool to transfer every episode from iPhone to the Apple watch. To transfer the episodes, hover on your iPhone’s podcast app and select the episode.
Click on the share button and transfer it to MiniCast with a single click. Next, you will find the list of the episodes on your watch screen and can easily download it.
Even though the transfers are straightforward and have zero complications, it is slightly slow in comparison to the regular apple watch podcast app. Apart from that, MiniCast has a fair chance of replacing the apple watch podcasts app soon!
Podface is another simple iPhone podcasting app wherein you can transfer your favorite podcasts to your Apple watch, just like MiniCast.
Just enter the keywords to search for your favorite podcasts and look out for recent episodes. When you click on the microphone symbol, you will find two options: play it on the iPhone or migrate it to your Apple watch. Click on the latter, and your transfer will start immediately.
Apart from the easy transfer procedure, the pod face iPhone app always shows you featured shows which are based on your usage and interests.
In addition to that, pod face is also a great fitness app since you can track your fitness activity when you play the podcast and end it to count your final calories burned.
WatchPlayer is very similar to Podface concerning the approach. However, the fitness feature is not present here. Like Podface, you need to search for your favorite podcasts through the keywords and add them to your Feeds Screen.
Tap on the specific podcast, and you will find the episode list. Tap on any episode, and your transfer will start!
Another very unique feature of WatchPlayer is the second audio control screen which is present on the watch. Here you get a list of specifications and settings to adjust the podcasts and the episodes.
The interface of Workouts++ is very similar to Podface and WatchPlayer.You click on the + button in the upper left corner of your application and add your keywords. You can then select the podcasts which will be added to your Subscriptions. Tap on any episode, and your transfer will start.
You can regulate the playback speed, skip to any other duration of the episode via the timestamps, and many more. However, you cannot play a podcast until you start a workout.
With that, we finally come to the end of our review of the Apple Watch Podcasts App. The initiative of launching this app was indeed remarkable. However, with certain restrictions and issues which users frequently face, the app soon started facing a backlash. Nonetheless, your podcast experience should not be limited to just a single app. Hence, our list of alternatives to the apple watch podcasts app deserves a try too!