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Issues with spoken-word listening apps on iPhone 5s, other smartphones?
December 19, 2013 7:48 PM   Subscribe

It's that magical time of the biennium where my loved ones upgrade my phone for me. I listen to a lot of audiobooks and podcasts on my current phone, an iPhone 4s, using the Audible and Downcast apps, respectively. Unfortunately, when I pause and do something else on the phone, it often "forgets" what I had been listening to, forcing me to reopen the app. I'd like my next phone to not experience this issue, but relevant info isn't something I can get out of the standard review article, so I've turned to you kind people.

I'm wondering, for those with iPhone 5s's or high-end Android phones (Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note, Moto X, HTC One, Nexus 5, etc.) and who listen to audiobooks and/or podcasts on third-party apps: Do you experience this problem? If so, how often, and what seem to be the triggers? Please specify hardware and OS version, if you know. This won't be my only criterion in choosing a new phone, of course!

For what it's worth, this happened sometimes on iOS6, and frequently on iOS7. This makes me think that it's a memory or some other hardware-related issue, so maybe it's not a problem in iOS per se but rather my specific model.

Thanks in advance.
posted by dondiego87 to Technology (6 answers total)
This happens to me. I have an iPhone 4S, running OS7.1 (I know... I need to update..)

I usually listen to the iTunes podcast app, Pandora, and sometimes some other similar apps. It usually happens when I pause, then do something else for at least 15 minutes - such as grab lunch, use the restroom, concentrate on something and don't want something in my ear.

I usually access pausing/playing from the control pannel or lock screen. Pandora seems to be the worst offender of the mainstream apps because when I go to launch it again, it starts from the welcome screen (as if it's the first time I opened Pandora.)

It sometimes also happens if I switch from listening to something to watching a YouTube - or other - video on the web. Which kind of makes sense I guess.

It would be interesting to see if there is a "cause" or "fix" for this, but I wanted to chime in to say it happens to me too! Maybe it's just a thing.
posted by Crystalinne at 8:31 PM on December 19, 2013

I also have a 4S and have been noticing this problem since upgrading to iOS 7. It's pretty irritating. This morning, for example, when I got to work I hit pause in Downcast and locked my phone, leaving Downcast as the foreground app. Ten minutes later, a double-press on the home button failed to pull up the Downcast lock screen controls, but when I unlocked the phone, hey presto there's Downcast still in the foreground.

I'm hoping the 5C/5S are better in this respect, but have no actual information about it.

TweetList is the worst as far as this goes, I find. Switch away from it to anything else for almost any length of time, no matter how short, and it restarts itself back to the main screen.
posted by Lexica at 8:45 PM on December 19, 2013

My iPhone 5s does not have this problem. I use Downcast and Spotify every day and I don't think it's ever lost my place.
posted by The Deej at 9:10 PM on December 19, 2013

This happens to me on my iPod 4 with iOS 6. I am certain it is an issue with memory and the OS trying to recover some from apps not in the foreground to put to other uses. It's the big memory hogging apps, games for me in particular, that do it. So, for instance, if I am playing a podcast, pause it, then open up Kingdom Rush, my iPod will not return to playing my podcast if I doubleclick the home button and then go to the audio to press play; it will be loading the default iTunes option. If I keep playing the podcast and open up Kingdom Rush one of two things will happen:

* The audio may stutter and things struggle but eventually it loads
* Kingdom Rush crashes/quits before it finishes loading

The more memory hoggy the original audio app I was trying to play, the worse my chances. I think this would also be very likely to happen if I was going through a variety of apps before I went to press play again.
posted by foxfirefey at 11:45 AM on December 20, 2013

I've used the following Android phones along with the apps BeyondPod (for podcasts) and Audible and have never had this happen to me. Further, I use Whispersync which is for when you have a Kindle book and Audible file of the same book. You swap between them and each app (Kindle and Audible) updates you to the furthest you've read (or heard) in the other. Works seamlessly. (Though it asks you to confirm before jumping ahead.)

Galaxy Note 3
Nexus 5
Note II
Nexus 4
Galaxy S 3
HTC Desire Z
posted by dobbs at 11:34 AM on January 6

Also, on Android, Audible and podcasting software have widgets, so the "player" sits right on your home screen. So unless you want to switch what you're listening to, you never have to open the apps.
posted by dobbs at 11:36 AM on January 6

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