We have received several reports that users are experiencing repeated crashes when using the Apple Podcasts app on their iPhone today. During playback of shows, the app is inexplicably crashing as frequently as once every two minutes in what appears to be some kind of bug relating to how the Podcasts app syncs progress between devices.
The issue seems to have been caused by some kind of server-side change on Apple’s part, as the crashes have only become prolific recently, weeks after Apple’s latest software update, iOS 13.1.3, was released.
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In addition to reader reports, many Apple users are airing their frustrations on social media.
One possible workaround is to put your phone into Airplane Mode, or otherwise taking your device offline.
This will let you listen to downloaded podcasts through the Apple Podcasts app, and it seems disconnecting from the network is enough to stop the crashes from arising; presumably, whatever misbehaving background job fails to connect to the Internet and cancels itself. This behavior supports the theory it is related to the sync engine.
love when the company worth multiple billions can’t make a podcast app that won’t crash every 2 minutes
— maxxinista national liberation front (@pretty_bad_take) December 9, 2019
@AppleSupport podcast app has been crashing all morning. Will play in increments of 30 seconds and then crash. Podcasts are even downloaded to the actual phone but still crash. Running OS 13.3
— Blake Davis (@ChristTatted) December 9, 2019
Attempting to listen to @MyFavMurder only to have the podcast app crash every 2 mins. Funny how I didn’t ask for this app but now that I want to use it, Apple can’t even do that right 🤔. All I wanted was to listen to true crime before going to my piece of shit job later 😒🤦🏾♀️
— 🌱Tiara G.🌱 (@Queen_Midas_) December 9, 2019
Other than that, your best bet as an Apple Podcasts user is just too ride it out. As the bug seems to have been caused by a server-side change, it seems likely that the issue will be able to be resolved invisibly by Apple reverting the change on its end.
We haven’t been able to reproduce the issue on the Apple Watch or macOS Catalina Podcasts apps; it remains unclear if those platforms are affected. The company is yet to comment on the matter.