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Microsoft pushes out long-overdue update for Windows Phone 8.1 Podcasts app

One of the bigger changes in Windows Phone 8.1 was replacing certain core functions of the OS with an alternative app-model. The reasoning behind the move, which includes Music, Video, Podcasts and more, was to enable a more dynamic updating system without needing a full OS update.

Today, Microsoft has updated the native Podcasts app for Windows Phone 8.1. Unfortunately, a changelog was not included.

Version 1.0.15041.0 is now available in the Store as an update to existing phones with Windows Phone 8.1. We are not habitual users of the podcast app, so we will leave it up to you to notice and bug fixes or improvements.

Shout out in comments if you find anything.

Update: Reader of the site Christopher P. tells us this update fixes at least one known bug "In the previous version if the was no data connection or Wi-Fi the app would crash to the home screen on opening. This is the bug that got fixed in this version."

Thanks, Yahia M., Malben D., and everyone else for the tips!

QR: podcasts

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

117 Comments
  • Will they ever release the synced sister app for Windows 8.1 ? Sigh...
  • Guh, I want this so hard.
  • Yes +1520 & Surface Pro 3
  • Bad for me
  • That's what she said!  
  • +625 I want it so bad!
  • +1020
  • I can't believe they don't have that. It makes so little sense I searched for the W8 app for about 10 minutes before realizing it didn't exist.
  • This would be very nice. The ability to start listening to a podcast on my desktop from where I left off in the phone version would be of great benefit to me. TIP: I recommend subscribing to "The No Agenda Show" (the best podcast in the universe) with Adam Curry and John C. Dvorak    
  • Have you tried "James O'briens Mystery Hour"? Top show, from a top man. Listen every week to it.
  • Big James O'b fan here also. Its a shame he doesn't offer podcasts of his main show.
  • Such obvious selling points to have both Windows and Windows phone will not be tolerated. I mean, imagine if I could read my texts from my PC... That is practically a Surface commercial in the making.
  • Glad I'm not the only one who's been longing for this.
  • Still crashes when opening on 1020.
  • +928, Surface 1, Surface 2, Surface Pro 3, misc additional 8.1 machines. PLEASE MS. lol Or, Podcast Lounge could make their's universal, don't really care which way it goes!
  • Today is the first time I opened the app after the initial installation of wp8.1 preview back in April. But yeah, the update was due(I guess)
  • I use it a few times a week, and I noticed no differences in this version. If there are, they seem subtle... Or maybe just stability improvements.
  • Too late, Microsoft.  Most of us have moved on to other apps
  • Can other apps download podcasts in background on micro SD? 'cause on the WinCentral article this wasn't mentioned
  • Yes, other apps work just like the native app. I've moved to Podcase Lounge and that downloads podcasts in the background when your phone is charging and idle. 
  • How do you know that "most of us" moved? Impressive...
  • I mainly use web-based services like Soundcloud, TuneIn and Stitcher. much better experience.
  • Microsoft health also got an update just now.
  • Literally two articles posted before this one, but um, thanks ;)
  • Wow good tip.. I looked up the app and refreshed a few times then got the update button! You are fast!   -Kurt
  • Thanks for calling out MS on this late neglected app. not often do we get this criticism from Daniel on anything MS, so when it happens you know it REALLY was overdue. Better late than never but when you're 3rd, you have to run faster than #1 and #2 if you want to catch up (hint to MS).
  • I don't read this as criticism. Just the facts.i actually use this app everyday. I have used others, but had stability problems or they didn't handle one of my subscriptions very well.
  • I use it every day! I love it!
  • I'm a heavy user of the podcast app. The search seems to work better. Perhaps the 1mb change is all under the hood. As always "seems faster".
  • Our Tech Informist Podcast FINALLY shows up in search. Has been for a little over a week now actually. Maybe I can finally move to this app as my sole podcast app.
  • You can just enter the URL and it should work with any podcast.
  • I know that, and you know that.  But that is not how it should have to be. Many people have no idea that is how podcasts make their way into podcast directories so that they are found by searching. As a podcast host, I want my shows to be discoverable as easy as possible and when it does not show by a simple search, that can make it appear that it is the shows fault when in fact it rests soley on the app.
  • doesn't seem to work for any podcasts I try. I enter the URL and the podcast is displayed but it is greyed out and says "we can't open this result"
  • Great podcast! Always listen when a MSFT guy is on there!
  • Adobe Reader got updated too but has no change log.
  • +520 +710
  • Ah the Lumia 710 now that's a great phone
  • +N71
  • +1100
  • Finally! First thing I notice is the panorama view focuses on the last viewed section without glitching now on startup, which is nice.
  • Long overdue - and as @elangab mentioned, we need apps for both Windows and Xbox. I also find it is pretty poor that Cortana cannot pause/play a podcast that is already queued up. Cortana simply replies something to the effeft of "no music is playing/nothing to pause." It is one thing if I can't use Cortana to say "Cortana, play the latest This American Life" but to not even be able to pause a podcast that is currently running is just sad.
  • Seems faster.
  • Hey! I can get Talk Is Jericho now!
  • Does this provide anything over and above the functionality of Podcast Lounge? Seems fairly Spartan.
  • Vzw 8.1 rom is more overdue then this app is
  • You want overdue? How about the GameHub they destroyed?
  • Welcome! I don't use it , so I can't notice any changes ....
  • Still ignores regional settings when displaying the date, this is a rookie mistake.
  • They need an update to let me uninstall that waste of space, along with the FM Radio and Xbox Video apps.
  • Updated but still can't find podcasts other apps are able to download.
  • I had this issue and found out if you paste in the RSS feed link you can usually find the podcast and subscribe to it.
  • Usually, but not always - and these are podcasts that show up fine in other podcast apps' searches.
  • The gamehub its so slow on 8.1 but using 8.0 works perfectly
  • I don't know if it is because I'm using a 635 but my games hub literally loads or resumes everytime I open it. It's pretty sad. I don't even have a lot of games to load, maybe 7-10 games max
  • Well it is pretty much detached from the O/S given you can no longer, uninstall from the hub and has to sync everytime it is opened. They had a great thing with the games hub now... It is a bare husk.
  • "The reasoning...was to enable a more dynamic updating system" Yeah, and just look how great that turned out with Music and Video, two apps that are essentially broken now.
  • Music is not broken at all, in fact it works perfectly fine on my 1520.
  • Music and game hub work perfectly for me. Oh wait. I just realized, I have no music and uninstalled all my games.
  • They work for me, and are continually improved via updates. Sounds like the strategy worked ok to me.
  • I sometimes think people forget how bad the old music app was. For me the old app showed 3 copies of every song. The one on the memory card, the one xbox music downloaded when I trialled the music pass and another just for fun. New app only has one copy of each track so I very happy with it.
  • The old app was really really subpar, now it is better but not what a native app should be after several updates.
  • I stopped using the XBox Music app when 8.1 came out. It was terrible. Now I don't have any local files and just use streaming services. will probably never go back.
  • It seems that it will now remember your place in a podcast even after listening to another podcast. It could not do this before. So far, that is the only change I have noticed.
  • Yeah,a feature that worked well between the Zune HD, Zune software, and the Music+Video hub prior to the launch of this new app.
  • This bug drove me crazy. I will check to see if this is fixed, as well.
  • That's what I noticed also. I don't think it did that before.
  • That was the deal-breaker bug for me.  The occasional crashes were, well, occasional, and bad layout I could get used to - but after about the eighth or tenth time of trying to re-find my place in a one-hour podcast episode, I gave up on the app and got a better one.  Ready to give this one another shot, though...
  • this is good news! much needed feature.
  • I use this app everyday because of the 1.5x or 2x playback I can get through podcasts in half the time.
  • iPodcast has .5x, 1.25x, 1.5x, 2x, and 3x playback options - and they're "sticky" (i.e., you don't have to reset them for each file you listen to). What I'd really love would be a custom-built playback-speed modulator for Diane Rehm's podcast, so that I could play back her questions at 3x, but her guests' answers at 1x.
  • The biggest bug for me on the podcast app, if you don't have a data connection, and try to open the app, it would crach back to the homescreen.  I wonder if that issue was fixed?  I'm not able to test right now. Other things I wanted fixed: Save last position for more than 1 podcast Open the app immediatly, then refresh podcasts (I suspect this is why it was crashing, trying to refresh podcasts without a data connection). Show new podcast count on tiles for favorite podcasts
  • I couldn't find my podcast ( Nutrition Diva :: Quick and Dirty Tips ™) it was there on windows phone 8 but now its not , I better off using other app this is sick
  • Meh.
  • Still no ability to download podcasts.
  • Not sure what you mean by this. I download podcasts all of the time with this app
  • The button is grayed out for me.
  • Are you forced to subscribe in order to download?
  • I've had WPhone since 710 came out and today opened this app for the first time, when I got notification that it's updated
  • Feems saster
  • Definitely feels ​snappier on my 1020. Quicker scrolling etc... Am hoping it syncs my list of subscriptions. ​ ​
  • I hate that they removed Podcast from out under the standard music heading. Nonetheless, if they could just add a live tile count to show new podcast downloaded I'd be thrilled
  • I was wondering the same thing. Their OS that they push the live tile innovation.... And they don't user it?
  • Really MS.
  • I suggest you create fast and slow lanes for app update news, akin to Windows 10 build preview lanes. For example, Instagram, Twitter, Path and similar apps would fall into slow lane, and when THOSE get updated it should break all the headlines... :/ I mean, what's with that? Instagram hasn't been updated SINCE MARCH! Yes, yes, 6tag, I know... But SINCE MARCH! Where are those speculated "8.1 updates"? Can anyone find out? No leaks whatsoever? :(
  • It sucks don't remind me.
  • Search still returns random bogus podcasts or nothing. Other Podcast apps seem to have no problem with the same searches.
  • That drives me nuts.  "We don't do searching like all the other boring podcast apps - we do it different, and worse!"
  • I had a bug where if I opened up the Podcast app and tried to play any video podcast, the app would immediately crash back to the start screen. Then I would have to click on the Podcast App again to open it back up, and then the same video would play back just fine. After the update it seems to be working normally...no more crashing.
  • I have never used the app. Why don't we have Xbox music and video subscription facility available in India? Pls MS!
  • Would love to use the native podcast app, but still cannot find a podcast I subscribe to even when entering the url.  Podcast lounge lets me enter it.  Maybe next update.
  • It still sorts in random order when syncing with WP desktop app?
  • I just want a live tile, or some sort of notification system that tells me when new podcasts have been downloaded. It seems a bit silly and unnecessarily arbitrary to have to check every podcast series for a new episode.... :(
  • I love listen to podcast.
  • Still no live tile? Bah.
  • Finally, wow, its been forever, now I can delete and unsubscribe from podcast
  • Was hoping the update bought a new wpcentral podcast...it didn't
  • Was it long overdue for an update or just didn't need an update that much. I use it almost every day and don't have any complaints. What is long overdue an update is the comments on this site so they actually work with windows phone. Pressing return for a new line is literally not working for me right now, and that's on top of the massive speed issues and inability to edit words without deleting everything! ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​
  • Its average rating in the Windows Phone Store is 2.3 out of 5, and this is the first update it's gotten since April.   So yeah, I don't think "overdue" is a stretch.
  • This was the one I've been waiting for.
  • I use this app every day during my commute to and from work. Nothing appears to have changed. Maybe it's faster or something, but I don't care about that. The one damn change I have asked for repeatedly is the ability to only show downloaded episodes in the episode list and for the app to remember that you selected that option. As it stands now, when you select to show only downloaded, as soon as you leave that podcast list and go somewhere else in the app it forgets your choice and then shows you all episodes again (both downloaded and streaming), even if you tell the app no to streaming in the global settings. So you constantly have to reselect show only downloaded, which doesn't seem like a big deal, but I have no interest in eating up my data plan streaming podcasts, I only want to see the episodes I have downloaded. Having to constantly reselect the option completely ruins the experience of the app. Such a seemingly simple feature that Microsoft apparently can't be bothered to implement.
  • I can confirm, now it finds some podcasts it previously didn't.
  • Before the update some of my podcasts didn't have the "album art" - instead it just showed the default microphone for them.  Now all of that seems to be fixed. 
  • Wish was great. But podcast + pro is way way better. Way way way way better
    You get my point
  • Looks like the app is free at the moment. And it does look good in first look.
  • 15041?? Maybe is the future Update2?? Similar the battery app 14203?
  • Does it do password protected podcasts yet? (pay to subscribe)
  • I use the podcast app daily and love it. My bigger problem is with the Store. If you search podcast on the app store you get 50 results and none of them is the official app. That's a little irritating. Thanks to Windows Central for containing the link in the article or I never would have found it...
  • Didn't bother with it since I have podcasts I listen to that require passwords.
  • Daniel, do you know (or could you find out) if there is a UserVoice forum for the Podcasts app? Ever since the 8.1 update, I've been missing the "repeat" option.
  • Nice, maybe it's finally as good as the 8.0 version....another app that went steps back on 8.1, this and the Xbox hub...  
  • Useless app ever! I don't know why Microsoft don't let us erase this once for all :C
  • I want to test the update, but after twice the app ate 1.5GB of my data, I am really realcatnt to do that :(
  • Alternate app module held so much promise when it was announced, unfortunately Microsoft failed miserably in updating apps like music and video, even after so many updates they are still work worse than an alpha stage app.
  • Can someone explain this app to me? It just doesn't make any sense to me and I can't figure out how I'm supposed to make it useful. -No sort of storefront for podcasts, no way to browse what's new, popular, etc.? I can only search out a particular one I know I want to listen to? -Once I do search and find one, how do I just download an episode? On the old music+video hub, I could just download any podcast episode at any time. I know if I "subscribe" to a podcast then new episodes will be automatically and regularly downloaded, but that is not how I consume podcasts.
  • I updated and then the app crashed three times before it launched the fourth time. Usually it just crashes once on the rare occasion it would crash. Hopefully this 4th time thing is a fluke and not because of the update. 
  • app-model = "Loading..." & "Resuming...."
  • Podcast app has been pretty disappointing so far. The search is pretty terrible, doesn't support custom RSS feeds. Only saves your position on one podcast. Also never seems to sync/download properly.