the native IOS podcast app never notifies me

iOS & iPadOS

Hello everyone
I hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe and as well as possible during these trying times.
Ever since I got my IPhone 6S in summer 2019 and got interested in listening to podcasts, the native Apple podcasts app has never ever notified me of upcoming new episodes. I still continue to subscribe to new podcasts and it annoys me that I miss out on them simply because the app does not notify me.
I’m really very skeptical to report this to apple. Honestly, I know nothing about reporting bugs. In fact, I don’t even know if it will be right to report on their accessibility email address. Also, I do not know how to go about it.
All this added with the fact that I’m an introvert and have been an IPhone user for a short amount of time, just a little over an year.
Thank you so much for your help and support.



Submitted by Jo Billard on Monday, August 24, 2020

Following this discussion. I've never reported anything either, for the same reasons - at least not in writing. Nobody seems to take anything seriously unless it is in writing.

Submitted by Jeff on Monday, August 24, 2020

The first thing you need to do is to make sure what you're reporting is actually a bug and not a function by design or a problem with your hardware/device.

If you determine that the problem is actually a software bug, then the most important information you need to provide is the exact steps to reproduce the problem. Obviously, you need to include the device you're using, the name of the app (if applicable) and all pertinent version numbers. Also include the values of any settings that might be related to the problem.

In your case, I think the problem might be difficult to reproduce. Check related settings such as Do Not Disturb. Do you get notifications from other apps?

I think in this case, calling Apple Accessibility might be warranted. However, claiming this as a bug might not be the best approach. Just describe your problem and ask them to help you get it to work the way you want. They can help you check the various settings and such that might influence the behavior of your device. If they actually determine that this is a bug, they can report it for you. Likewise, if they determine you have a hardware problem they can tell you what your options are at that point.

Hope this helps.

Submitted by Dawn on Tuesday, August 25, 2020

I’ve called them before. And they are very nice people and I will admit. I have asked if a certain behavior is a bug or not. And they’ve been nice about it. Another thing you could probably do you, is make use of the screen recording feature on your device. This is really good for if you can reproduce certain bags and then you can attach that to an email. Also when you call Ask if they can do a screen share with you. Have your Apple ID ready and give it to them and they will be able to look at your screen. And they will be able to see exactly what you’re seeing. If not a little more. Only in the sense that they can see certain things that we might miss. Like certain buttons changing colors which could indicate certain things.
I have never reported anything by email. Mostly because I like talking to people on the phone. I feel like I get better responses that way and I feel like one on one help is the best thing to have when you’re dealing with tech-support. Whether it’s for a mainstream application or Accessibility related support. Mostly because How voiceover works to take people who have no idea what it does and how it works can be a little crazy to do over an email or chat. I think you’ll get more results if you do it over the phone.

When it comes to bug reports, what you need to do depends on the type of bug you have and how easy it is to reproduce. So just because this one bug may be hard to reproduce, does it mean that another bug won’t be. Of course some steps are still the same. After names, version numbers etc. etc. Also, I would try another server party pad catcher. And see if the same thing happens. All of your podcasts in in 0PML file into a third-party pod cast app. Good ones that I use for overcast, pocket casts, and there’s tons of others. Some free some paid. Both overcast and pocket casts for free. So I would subscribe to your podcast there and see if you still get the same problem. Because that’s one thing they might ask you. And even if they don’t and you tell them, that is goodInformation for them to have.

I will tell you. I had a pretty complex bug that involved me not being able to move apps out of my dock. And yes this was with unlucky 13. And I called Accessibility, they were able to do a screen share, and he was able to see it. Because of the complexity of this bug I had two cats a file uploaded reproducing the bug, and then he had to escalate it up I actually had an engineer assigned to my specific case. And it turned out that this bug was so deep in the coding, that they actually had to rate the septic fixed just for this particular bug. But the advisor that I had on the keys was with me every step of the way. Giving me updates, trying different things, etc. etc. Sorry is it that bug type will probably not happen to you very often if at all. I just happen to be one of the unlucky ones. Yay.
Also another thing, besides being nice about it, ask if what you’re saying is making sense. A lot of times I’ve done that and a lot of confusion has gotten cleared up in that question. It saves everyone time.
I have reported a few bugs. Accessibility wise and with mainstream apps. And for the most part I’ve usually gotten tech-support people, and then you show me there every step of the way. Offer. If you have screenshots, or screen recordings, Even audio recordings. Offer to send them. Or if you don’t have them offer to make them. No obviously if you do that little bit of explanation in there. As well as the obit obligatory information. Type of device version numbers all that happy stuff. I’ve made screen recordings and down screenshots with Weather Gods. And it was actually very thankful when I sent them to him. And when I get those. And then as you’re doing the screen recordings, you can talk them through it. And they will hear voice over in the recordings so don’t worry about that.
Sorry for the long winded comment, but I hope that this helps you in any other people that are nervous about reporting bugs rather it be Accessibility related or not. Or whether you are reporting those bags to Apple or another app. And I also hope that this puts your mind at ease.

Submitted by Khushi on Tuesday, August 25, 2020

In reply to by Dawn

thank you so much for your kind advice :)
ahhaha I think I'll put reporting off for a while.. I'd like to see if it's only me experiencing this podcast issue. :)

Submitted by Khushi on Tuesday, August 25, 2020

hey all
just to note here I'm from India and I do not know of any apple accessibility number here. I believe one is their in US.. but again, I'm not too sure.
in case anyone experiences the same issue I'm experiencing, please do mention it on the link of the forum topic provided by me in this post so that it doesn't deviate from the topic discussed in this post.

thanks everyone :)

Submitted by Dawn on Wednesday, August 26, 2020

In reply to by Khushi

I found an Apple support number for India. It doesn’t say if it’s in Accessibility one. But I would still call this number, and ask if there’s a number for India. And I’m sure they’d be willing to give it to you.
The number is 000800 1009009 Link

If you search for what is the Accessibility support phone number for Apple in India, it will take you to a page that has all of the contact information for different regions and continents.
But still it wouldn’t hurt to ask the support representative that you get if there is an Accessibility number.
Also, yeah. I would just check and make sure you’re getting notifications from other apps that are in or not related to Podcasts.
And try at least one or two different podcast apps. And you can import your existing subscriptions from the Apple Podcasts app. You can import them as a OPML. finally. I don’t know how you would go about doing this, as I have never done that. But I have seen that all podcasting apps have something that lets you import all of your subscriptions either in the settings section, or when you first open the app, it will give you options to either find a podcast, or import your subscriptions from an existing app.

Submitted by tripolice on Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Hello there!

My experience with interaction with Apple Accessibility have been nice, even though all my issues were not addressed. On certain occasion, I got typical responses like they're aware of the issue, whereas on other occasion they have actually engaged with it and got resolved. I didn't need to be very typical as to how to report bug, I just explained them the way I could.

Regarding the Podcast notification issue, only thing I'm wondering is whether it would be categorised as accessibility bug. If not, then writing to Apple Accessibility may not help.

Submitted by Siobhan on Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Hi. I've heard from other users of the Hindi voice that it's not exactly as good as you would like. I'm basing my theory on the following. Apple was founded in America. It stands to reason, the bugs fixed with any version of any product probably the most of which are English versions of the system and the applications. I'm not saying the podcasts issue is yours alone. I'd probably try to not only write to accessibility, but find even a general contact form. The app store really wouldn't be the place to get something resolved. You mightget a response but more often it seems like a place with reviews and that's just for others to read, not so much companies. I mean no disrespect about the Hindi voice, it was an example of possibly how Apple may not be aware of someone in their own native country having a problem. Also Apple is not blameless being they have in my opinion have to much going on. Ipad Os, IOS, Mac,watch, tv, Apple music. Hardare like the Airpods, Airpower the wireless charging standard. On one end, I'm glad they are expanding. On the other hand I think they can't focus on any one thing but the main features of each version of software. Hope I helped somewhat.

thank you for your comment :)
to note here, I do not use the Hindi voice.. I hate it.. with no disrespect to anyone.
I use US Siri female and I don't think it is an issue native to my country. you can have a look at the forum linked in this post.
have a good day :)

Submitted by Khushi on Friday, September 25, 2020

hi everyone
so I finally made the switch. someone here on applevis suggested me to try other podcast apps in the 'accessibility bugs introduced and resolved in IOS 14,' post and I switched to overcast.
I did not import my episodes because apple required us to export the file via a computer and then import it. I have manually subscribed to all my podcasts and will see if I receive notifications and will post an update over here.

in the mean time, if anyone is facing the same issues I'd really appreciate posting it here so that I can know I'm not alone. I am loving the ease of using the overcast app, though. it's layout and features.


Submitted by Khushi on Saturday, September 26, 2020

In reply to by Brad

hey, sure I will.
it is a big relieve to hear that it notifies you. hope that's the case for me too.
I am loving the layout and ease of use of this app, though. never realized there are better interfaces than apple podcasts :)

Yeah and the fact you can actually read what the podcast is about every time you click on it is very helpful, vs apple podcasts where you get the ddescription once and that's it.

I phoned apple about this once and got a response that was basicly "apple does this because after you subscribe to your podcasts, you should know what they're about," that's silly, if you have even 10 podcasts, it's hard to remember each one.

Submitted by Khushi on Thursday, October 1, 2020

I'm back with another update.
today just now a while ago I opened applevis on my laptop and saw there are 2 podcasts! one is applevis unleashed and another is about a new game.
but I did not get any notification about this via overcast :(
another podcast I am subscribed to is better words. the new episode came on September 30th and again I did not get any notification.
I switched because someone suggested I should change my podcast and another person here told me that its great! how come it did not notify me/ is there something wrong with my app settings? I love the app and would wish to be notified!
hope someone will report back if it notifies them and what settings they have done. :)
thank you.
by the way, I recieve every other notification from every app like Instagram, YouTube, Whatsapp, etc.
I think something is wrong with my overcast settings or I'm doing something wrong.
a side note, I have not created my account on overcast. do I need to do that in order for it to notify me?

again, thanks for helping me :)

Submitted by Skippy on Thursday, October 1, 2020

I think I know what the issue is with Apple podcasts. I’ve experienced this issue myself. There are 2 requirements that must be met, in order for the Apple podcasts app, as well as most third-party apps, to send you notifications about new episodes. The requirements are:
1. You must be on Wi-Fi
2. You must leave the app running in the app switcher at all times

The second requirement is one that most third-party apps have.
The only app that I found that does not have this requirement, is Pocket Casts.

I've received notifications of new episodes from Overcast when not on wi-fi and when its not been in the App Switcher.

This is with the Overcast option enabled to download new episodes on both wi-fi and cellular.

I would be very surprised if an app had to be running to receive notifications. Have you seen this documented somewhere online?

Submitted by Khushi on Friday, October 2, 2020

I'm not at twitter but suggest looking at the link I posted and if anyone else is facing the same problem please mention in the thread, it'll be very helpful.
as it was written that the developer checks his twitter for quick feedback in the overcast feedback settings.
so it'll be really nice if people who are still facing the problem contact the developer and probably link this forum topic :)
I'm running overcast version 2020.7
thank you so much :)

Submitted by Skippy on Friday, October 2, 2020

I’ve tried many podcast abs, including but not limited to overcast, downcast, icatcher, Castro, and many more. All of these apps require that they be open in the background, in order to send you notifications. They don’t explicitly say that, but I figured that out through trial and error.
For some unknown reason, the Apple podcasts app is also on the list that require this. I don’t understand why podcast apps require this, because it drains your battery very quickly.
I even bought Cosmicast recently, but it too, requires that it be open in the background, to send you notifications.
I have a feeling I’m going to have to call Apple Accessability, and ask them why this is.
If I do end up calling them, and finding out anything, I will post here, so others can stay informed.

I have an IPhone 6s and I won't like to open it in the app switcher simply due to the fact that it takes a lot of battery.
if this is the case then it's very annoying.
thank you
also if anyone of the people here are on twitter you can reach out to the developer of overcast and inform him.
thank you again to everyone who replied :)

Submitted by Skippy on Saturday, October 3, 2020

If you’re on twitter, that’s honestly the best way to reach him. I’ve tried sending him an email, but he never gets back to me.

Submitted by Siobhan on Sunday, October 4, 2020

I know you're not on twitter. But if you are experiencing this, and you ask others, who are not having a problem, or maybe can't explain it the way you can, how will that get your issue fixed? Simply put, it won't. Maybe create a twitter, ask the question, then only wait for the developer and delete the account? I mean how can someone explain the problem that you're having, if it isn't you?

Submitted by Khushi on Thursday, October 8, 2020

In reply to by Siobhan

hey everyone
I have tweeted about this using my dad's account.
have also linked to this forum :)
hopefully something will come of it now.

Submitted by Marco Arment on Thursday, October 8, 2020

Hi everyone, developer of Overcast here. The way I’ve implemented notifications usually relies on the app having Background Refresh enabled and remaining in the app switcher (not being force-quit).

I deliver a silent push notification from the servers to tell the app a new episode is available, which should trigger the app to wake up in the background, sync the new episode info, and start the download.

In some cases, iOS won’t let the app wake up, such as if Background Refresh is disabled, if it’s force-quit, if the battery is low, or if the phone is in Low Power Mode. If the app isn’t woken up for whatever reason, it won’t show the notification.

I could do it a more direct way, pushing a text notification instead of a background-update notification, which would display 100% of the time. But if I did that, the app wouldn’t wake up in the background to begin the download, so when you tapped the notification to start the new episode, it probably wouldn’t be downloaded yet.

thank you so much for replying :) I'm so glad :)
I understand the way you've and probably many other podcast developers implement the notification feature.
I wish there was a way for the app to notify me of new episodes even if it is not open from the app switcher just like Spotify or social media apps like Twitter and Instagram. for me, it would mean that I am not missing out on podcast episodes and when I need to listen to it, I just tap the notification and it automatically starts downloading the episode or something like that.. I'm not sure really.
the thing is I love the interface of this app but hate missing out on podcast episodes just because I do not get notified because my app isn't running in the app switcher and I have my phone's low power mode on :)
hope you understand :)
thank you so much for reaching out :)
and thank you so much for making overcast so accessible and taking out time to improve it :)

Submitted by Jeff on Thursday, October 8, 2020

In reply to by Khushi

Having an older iPhone doesn't make it inadequate for the task. It's your choice to force quit the app and run in low power mode. You can't expect it to be fully functional if you disable some features. It seems to me that the simple solution to your problem is to just run the app once or twice a day to see if any new podcasts have been posted. You should expect to check for new podcasts manually if you're not going to allow the app to run and do it automatically.

BTW, leaving the app in the task switcher doesn't run down your battery unless it needs to run to perform the task you want it to do, i.e., download your new podcasts and notify you.

Submitted by Siobhan on Thursday, October 8, 2020

Hi. Honestly, you are a bit unreasonable. First, having your parent's account post instead of you, even if that's a one and done idea? To me, in my view, distasteful. simply, because you are asking someone else, as I said earlier, to post on your behalf. Second, the developer has since said, I could make a push notification, but that would mean the podcast has not downloaded yet. While I am not familiar with India's wifi conectivity, nor their price exchange, is it not possible to say go to a library and download the podcasts once a week or twice a week? I am asking as I think there's more for your side of the problem to find a solution. I mean absolutely o disrespect or any offense.

Submitted by Khushi on Friday, October 9, 2020

for me, it is not at all distasteful if my parents post on my behalf. and for your info, 'I posted with my dad's account' and not he.
secondly, India has good vyfy connectivity, except in certan remote and rural areas which is also improving.

I come here for seeking help and advices. it is very annoying that just in a span of an year of me being here, I'm finding the atitute of quite a few people negative.. as if they are trying to say the problem you are facing is because of you and not anyone else. while that's not the case.
I'm not being rude or anything. but if the developer does not find me tweeting from my dad's account distasteful and comes here and so amazingly and kindly explains how he has implemented the feature, what's wrong in that?
and my previous comment was just a suggestion/feature request.. saying that he could think of doing that, may be.

Submitted by Siobhan on Friday, October 9, 2020

I was not at all suggesting it was your wifi connection. That was a question. I also was not suggesting it distasteful that you posted on your Dad's Twitter. I had only meant, you should write to the developer, which you did, so that's over and done. The developer clearly explained that running a push notification instead of the app being in the background, wasn't really an option. Yes, I understand your device is on the older side. Yes, you can't have it always running in the background. But again, he said that your episodes wouldn't be downloaded, after the alert comes up, it would then have to start downloading. when the app is open, all it needs to do is start the download. so this makes perfect sense. In fact, though I don't use podcatchers, this makes sense to me. So maybe when you have a newer device, whenever that is possible, you might be able to leave the app open.