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New: Enhanced Podcast Discovery, Snappy Search, and more

Posted by Padraig on Mar 07, 2019

Hot on the heels of January’s update (which added added local search), this year’s second big Castro update is now available in the App Store. In this release we revamped the Discover tab, dramatically improved podcast search, and re-thought the way we talk about features in the app.

Tiny Logo and Castro app icon on blue background

Revamped Podcast Discovery

We designed the new Discover tab to offer a quick, simple way for us to highlight a handful of interesting podcasts each week. The new, Instagram-like feed makes it easy to quickly scan for interesting collections. These collections are curated by us, and we will introduce new collections weekly. It’s designed to be a relaxed way to find interesting shows and know what’s new, not a deep dive into a directory of every podcast anyone might ever want.

The tab still includes the per-country category lists, but we’ve reworked them to fit into the feed. We’ve selected a single great show to represent each podcast category.

Tiny Logo and Castro app icon on blue background

Snappy Search

This update also brings a redesigned search that instantly returns results as you type. This took a lot of work on the server side, but the bottom line is that search in Castro is now much faster, and far more accurate.

It’s also much easier to subscribe straight from a search result, just by tapping the + next to the search result.

Easier to Learn

When we originally designed Castro we borrowed terminology from email, to-do, and other productivity apps to describe the “triage” flow of managing episodes in the app. This language worked well for users comfortable with those apps, but it made Castro a little harder to learn for everyone else. Even when clearly understood, terms like “Archive” and “Inbox” started to feel out of place in a podcast player, since podcasts are supposed to be fun, not getting to Inbox Zero™

Castro now uses more familiar language to help navigate the app:

  • The “Inbox” tab is now simply “New”
  • The “Archive” tab has been renamed ‘Library”
  • “Archiving” is now “Clearing”
Tiny Logo and Castro app icon on blue background

These changes don’t impact functionality — Castro users can still triage episodes of their favourite shows as before — but we hope these tweaks will make the app’s workflow a little easier to pick up and master.

From the start, we’ve designed Castro to be a powerful upgrade over the playback and management experiences offered by other podcast apps. Today’s updates are designed to help make the power of Castro accessible to more people: The new Discover tab makes it easy to learn about new shows, better search finds the shows listeners already know, and by cutting down on jargon it’s easier than ever to move to Castro.