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Question: Podcasts on iOS 11 is shockingly bad

I can't be the first one to post about this, but Podcasts has gone from mildly awkward in iOS 10 to near unusable in iOS 11.

  • No Autoplay next episode
  • Can't see time length without clicking into episode
  • Can't play episode without clicking into it.
  • No Mark As Played
  • No apparent individual podcast settings (how many to download)
  • If you manually delete all episodes from your library, the app unsubscribes from the podcast.

All of this together not only makes it difficult to track what content is actually new, but makes handling podcasts while driving impossible. Want to play another episode without looking at your phone and crashing? Good luck.

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Oct 16, 2017 9:47 AM in response to Kliegs In response to Kliegs

Kliegs, teh iOS Podcasts version was a big change, but it works well once you get use to it. Autoplay still works, but only in a Station. Time phase still exists, but only in the Play Bar or Episode screen. There are settings screens for the Podcasts app, Stations and Shows (see below).

iOS 11 Podcasts App – Simpler, but a Major Departure from iOS 10

The iOS 11 Podcasts App took a major step toward simplicity over previous versions, however, after first introducing Stations as a replacement for iTunes Playlists with iOS 10, it now forces a manual transition to Stations since iTunes Playlists no longer appear in the app. It also only permits Autoplay within Stations, introduces the term Shows and eliminates the Mark As Played feature for an individual podcast Episode or a selected group of Episodes.

To move around the app, one needs to understand three terms:

  • Episode – a single event of a Show such as a single evening’s recording of the PBS NewsHour.
  • Show – a podcast subscription, such as the daily PBS NewsHour.
  • Station – a collection of Shows in whatever grouping you choose such as News


It is wise to choose your preferences in iPhone>Settings>Podcasts before you subscribe to several Shows as those preferences will be the defaults for each Show. You can also change preferences for a particular Show, such as the PBS NewsHour by going to Library>Shows>PBS NewsHour, clicking the blue three-dot icon to the right of the Show’s name, then choosing Settings.

Note you can choose to download Only New Episodes as they become available, All Unplayed Episodes or none, should you choose to review an Episode’s title in Available Episodes on its Show’s screen before downloading it. You can also choose to keep played Episodes, should you wish to listen to them repeatedly, or delete them automatically once heard. Played Episodes remain on your device for 24 hours after being played, though the titles remain in Available Episodes on the Shows screen. A previous Episode, if still available, can be downloaded again by clicking the plus sign to the right of its title.

Below are my settings preferences for the Podcasts App (left), Stations (center) and Shows (right), which might be a handy starting point, if you have questions or problems.

User uploaded file


You can subscribe to a Show using the search icon at the bottom of the app or through iTunes. You can also choose to download a single Episode rather than to subscribe to all future Episodes of a Show.


Stations can be created, named and edited in the app at Library>Edit (upper right)>New Station or in iTunes. Shows can be added to a Station or removed by opening the Station in the Library screen and choosing Edit (upper right)>Settings>Choose Podcasts, then placing (or removing). a check mark to the right of the Show. A Station’s Shows can also be added or removed in iTunes.


Episodes can only be Autoplayed within a Station; not in Listen Now, on a Show’s screen or in the Episodes list in the Library screen. Simply open a Station in the Library and click the top Episode. The remaining Episodes will play in sequence. In each Station’s settings you can designate whether the Episodes are sorted and played from oldest to newest, the reverse or manually. Episodes not fully downloaded can be streamed when on Wifi, however, Autoplay will stop at the Episode, if only on mobile data, regardless of the Podcasts App settings for mobile data.


While playing an episode tap the Play Bar at the bottom of the screen. You will see the horizontal Play progress bar and the Sleep Timer right under it.


Siri enhances convenience and SAFETY, particularly when driving or walking quickly. For example just say “Play xxx Station in Podcasts” to have Siri open the app and Autoplay available Episodes in a Station.


To remove an Episode from a Station, Episodes or Listen Now simply swish it to the left. It will no longer be in the list, however, it can be retrieved in Available Episodes on its Show page.


As you transition to the iOS 11 Podcasts app, there may be some glitches when you first sync with iTunes. The best solution is to clean up iTunes after syncing by correcting mismatches. From then on syncing should be more accurate.


Oct 16, 2017 9:47 AM

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Question: Podcasts on iOS 11 is shockingly bad