Watchcast - a new podcast app designed for the Apple Watch

Discussion in 'Apple Watch Apps' started by brianmcb, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. brianmcb macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2011
    I bought an Apple Watch in January and wasn't thrilled with the existing options to sync and listen to podcasts on the watch without my phone. I run a lot and I really wanted to run without my phone, so I decided to build my own app, which is now available here:

    * Copy podcasts to your Apple Watch and listen through its speaker or bluetooth headphones
    * Podcasts play in the background while you track your workout with your favorite app
    * Use the iOS app to subscribe to podcasts, download episodes and transfer to your watch
    * Playback progress is synced between your phone and watch so you can seamlessly resume listening where you left off
    * On a per-show basis, enable automatic downloading and transferring to your watch
    * Current playback controls on the watch: play, pause, skip back 15 seconds, skip forward 30 seconds, high speed scrubber
    * TIP: To speed up transfers, leave the app on the foreground on your watch

    The app is free to download with all features enabled, but to subscribe to more than two shows requires a $2.99 in-app purchase. I'm the sole developer and a heavy user of the app, so it will be improved over time.

    Please let me know if you have any complaints or suggestions. Thanks!
  2. Monkidoodle macrumors newbie


    Mar 14, 2017

    App looks good so far although I haven't yet used it during a workout. Really like that it keeps podcasts in sync between the watch and the phone - I tend to listen to podcasts in the car using the phone so it'll be nice not to have to do any fiddling around to adjust start times etc.

    The only comment for an additional feature that I'd make at this point is that it would be nice to adjust the auto-download / auto-sync settings globally (for me, anyway) - although to be fair this is probably only an issue on initial setup with 10+ podcasts rather than adding them gradually over time.

    Thanks for your efforts with this!
  3. spitf1r3 macrumors regular


    Oct 17, 2014
    The "skip silence" and "voice boost" features (as found in i.e. Overcast or Pocket Casts) is something I couldn't a podcast without. It's probably not feasible to implement though..
  4. mitty macrumors regular

    May 21, 2010
    Just installed and trying it out. Looks great but my one request out of the box would be a progress indicator for the transfer of podcasts from phone to watch, instead of the spinning gear. At least some indication of how long we have to wait (or that the transfer is even actually happening) would be better. Also, does the app on the watch need to be running before you start the transfer?

    Do we have a best case scenario of how long it takes to transfer a file from phone to watch? eg If I had a 1MB file, how long would/should this take?
  5. rasputin1969 macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2010
    Thank you for building this app. I've been searching for a proper local podcasting app since the watch was first released. It is also fairly priced and I've purchased it.

    You've done an excellent job and I hope this app does really well for you.
  6. Der Keyser macrumors regular

    Der Keyser

    Aug 18, 2016
    This was just what I was looking for :) !!
    Excellent app so far, just bought the full version to support your excellent work. It's already at a level where it killed off downcast for me. I used to love Downcast, but after getting an apple watch and downcasts refussal to support offline media in their watch app I started looking elsewhere.
    Seems I have found my solution :)

    One feature request: could you make playback at 1.25 and 1.5 times original recording speed possible? With only original playback speed I need around 25% more hours in a day to keep up with my subscribed shows

    Keep up the good work!
  7. crawltochina macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2015
    Thanks for this! I purchased the full version for the functionality of autoupdating Podcasts and autosyncing to the watch.

    But there is a bug which led me to deleting the app. If you add and subscribe to podcasts and choose the episodes to sync (the rest is marked as played) and then you refresh the timeline by pulling the list down all podcasts with all episodes in the subscriptions are set to unplayed and are starting to sync. I didn't realize the problem so the iPhone downloaded in the background Gigabytes of Podcasts until the space was full. I couldn't use the Phone any more until i deleted the app. Turned out the app had filled 80 GB of space!!! It took about 2 hours until this space was free again on the iPhone. Please could you fix this bug? It makes it unusable for me.
  8. tivoboy macrumors 68040

    May 15, 2005
    I gave this one a shot, REALLY want podcasts on the watch for workouts and walks, but I could never get it to upload even one podcast to the watch. a pretty small one of 35MB. After nearly 1 hour, I gave up.
  9. deeddawg, Jun 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017

    deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    So I came here frustrated with getting WatchCast to sync podcasts over to my watch.

    As I was preparing to write something snarky, I decided to try hard-booting both my phone and watch.

    ... and it started working just fine.

    Hopefully that was just an install anomaly, if this requires reboots to remain working I'll drop it in a heartbeat. If it works as well as it looks, I will definitely unlock the full version so as to compensate the developer.

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