Whether you’re subscribed to a lot of podcasts or just a handful, you want to know what’s the next thing to play. Version 2.7 of AntennaPod introduces a better way to do just that: the Inbox!

Introducing the Inbox

The Inbox displays all new episodes. As soon as you interact with an episode anywhere in the app (start playback, download, etc.), it automatically gets removed from the Inbox. At that point, after all, you’ve seen it exists and made a decision on what to do with it.

With swipe actions in the inbox, which you are invited to set up on first use, you can:

  • Add episodes to the Queue
  • Remove episodes from the Inbox (similar to removing the ‘new’ label in previous versions)
  • Download episodes

True podcast addicts might use the Inbox as a ‘triage’ screen, manually curating episodes and swiping the best ones straight into the queue. Those who follow just 2 or 3 podcasts might check this overview of new episodes when they’re up for listening to something, and start playing an episode that looks interesting.

If you’re an existing user, you’ll notice that your inbox will be full. That’s because all episodes that had the ‘new’ label are now in your inbox. Whether you ignore the list, slowly work your way through it, or ‘remove all from inbox’ is up to you.

Not all that special

Now you wonder - what’s so special about an inbox? Don’t we already know this concept from email since the nineties?

Truth be told: yes. But none of the other major podcast apps seem to have this1. This functionality has been developed after a request from one of our active contributors (the author of this post, as it happens), rather than by copying the other apps.

And we have to admit: even for AntennaPod, it’s not that revolutionary. Our long-time users probably already know the ‘New’ tab of the Episodes screen. The downside of the old Episodes screen was that the presence of tabs prevented the introduction of swipe actions. With swipe actions, managing new episodes is a whole lot easier.

What’s next

So far we’ve had positive feedback from our beta testers. (You can join the beta testing if you want.) But there are already ideas for further improvements. For example:

  • Allow to swipe episodes from the inbox directly into an ‘ignored’ status. So that auto-download will never spend bandwidth & memory on these episodes. And podcast junkies can build stats showing which podcasts they might want to unsubscribe from.
  • Introduce a ‘Skip inbox’ setting at podcast-level. Because the podcast is so great that it doesn’t need triaging. Or because it has only very few gems, and your friends will tell you about them.
  • Indicate which episodes were released recently. So that you can see what’s been added to your inbox since you last opened AntennaPod.
  • Add a dating app-like swipe experience. Because the list view doesn’t provide much information, while a full-screen swipe mode allows to show (part of) the description text.

It’s important to know that these are just ideas of the post’s author. No guarantees that any of these will be implemented. But more importantly: what further tweaks or features around the Inbox would you like to see? And how will you use the Inbox? Don’t hesitate to chip in on our forum to share your thoughts!

PS: there’s more to explore

The inbox is just one of the improvements that was released. Here are some other changes in 2.7:

  • Use swipe actions and quickly toggle Favourites on the Episodes screen (@ByteHamster)
  • View a list of (unplayed) episodes in Android Auto (@tonytamsf)
  • Scroll to the top of lists by long-pressing the toolbar (@ByteHamster)
  • Bug fixes around authentication for podcasts & Nextcloud sync (@ByteHamster)
  • Directly open localised documentation if available (for now: da, fr, it, nl) (@ByteHamster)

Check our forum for a full list of changes.

1 We checked Podcast Addict, Castbox and Podbean and they didn’t have an Inbox/New episodes screen with swipe actions. We wanted to try Google Podcasts but to install it you must install the Google app, so we didn’t bother.

Photo by Anne-Onyme.