When you listen to podcasts, many options are available: Spotify, Apple Music, the website of a podcast. One of the most popular and best podcast applications, however, is Pocket Casts, which supports more platforms than most of its rival applications and has more features to boot. Now, Pocket Casts also has an Alexa skill, which makes listening at home easier.
To get started, add the Pocket Casts skill to your Alexa app and connect your Pocket Casts account to Amazon by signing in. Then say, "Alexa, open Pocket Casts." From there, if you start with Pocket Casts, Alexa will note that you have nothing in the queue and no subscription; you will need to adapt your Pocket Casts account to subscriptions to your favorite podcasts. Unfortunately, there is no way to browse podcasts through the Alexa skill.
To make sure that you are not misunderstood, you can run orders saying "Alexa, tell Pocket Casts". But commands that do not specify Pocket Casts can still work. You can say things like "Alexa, play the last episode" of a particular podcast, and Alexa will pull the good sound.
Alexa launches the latest episode when launching a new podcast. This can be a real headache if you take a narrative podcast like Serialwhere hearing out-of-use episodes spoils the surprise and can just be confusing.
The solution, however, is to keep your Pocket Casts updated with exactly what you want to listen to and also queue up in Up Next. Then you can ask Alexa to resume the last podcast you last listened to, whether it's the first episode of The vergecast or NPR Code switch.
One of the main advantages of this skill is that you will be able to play podcasts on a mobile device, while podcasts continue to play on your Alexa compatible device. It could be a way to share Pocket Casts in your home. The app costs $ 3.99 on iOS or Android and supports AirPlay, Chromecast and Apple Watch.