I'm on iOS 6 on my iPhone, and I don't like iOS 7. When I try to listen to a podcast on the iTunes app, it tells me to download the Podcasts app. When I try to download the Podcasts app, it tells me iOS 7 is required to download the app. So how can I listen to podcasts, short of upgrading to iOS 7?

  • Call Apple support. Since the app is their product, they might help you get an older version of the app. – ughoavgfhw Nov 26 '13 at 21:37

I have an iPod Touch 4 with IOS 6.1.6. I followed the instructions on the link https://sites.google.com/site/appleclubfhs/support/advice-and-articles/app-store-downloading-older-versions-of-apps-ios and now have a fully functional version of 'Podcasts'.

In my case when I initially tried to download Podcasts from the App Store with iPod Touch, it advised that I needed IOS 7 and there was no option to install an older version. However as outlined in link above, I downloaded the Podcasts app in iTunes and then synced my iPod with iTunes. Then I went back into the iPod App Store and tried to download it. This time it still advised that I needed IOS 7, however it also gave me an option to download a version compatible with IOS 6.

So, the bottom line here is that Podcasts has a compatible version for IOS 6 in App Store, but Apple does not advert this to users (unless you already have it installed on your iPod) and make it very hard to get. In my case it’s taken me 2 hours of time to solve this problem.

Podcasts are my main use of this perfectly functional device and so getting support for this App was personally very important to me. I hope this helps other users.


If you had downloaded the podcasts app while iOS6 was the most recent, then you would have a version of the podcasts app that was compatible with it. Unfortunately the current version of the podcasts app is written using iOS7 APIs, including ones to automatically download content for you without you having to manually open the app etc, which are not backwards compatible.

As such, you will have to use a 3rd party app to listen to podcasts, or upgrade to iOS7.

  • 1
    shouldn’t be possible to download a older version in the App Stoer now? – Sebastian Semmler Nov 22 '13 at 9:00
  • I think this only applies to iOS5 devices at present, I should check.. – stuffe Nov 28 '13 at 13:23

You can listen to podcasts with the Music app, if you do not want to conform by running iOS7 or run a third party app.

  • How do I listen to it in the Music app? The Music app is for already downloaded music, but I can't download the podcast file from the Itunes app, because it tells me I need the Podcasts app. So what can I do, short of downloading the podcast file onto my computer and syncing my iPhone every time I want to listen to a podcast? – Keshav Srinivasan Mar 27 '14 at 1:52
  • Yeah, I've not found a way to avoid having to sync with iTunes to get my podcasts. My answer was to listening to podcasts, I guess, instead of getting them on your device. Sorry about that. – user74165 Apr 15 '14 at 17:14

I had the same issue. I have an iPhone 3Gs which cannot upgrade beyond iOS 6.1.6. So I cannot download any version of Podcasts.

As others already noted, one solution is downloading a third party app. After reading various reviews, I chose Downcast which works very well.

Personally, I think it is very strange that Apple themselves are actively preventing using their own app.

  • I wouldn't say they are "actively preventing" anyone from using the app - all OP needs to do is update to iOS 7. And Apple isn't preventing him/her from doing that either. – Dillon Jun 19 '14 at 12:41
  • 1
    @Dillon - you can't upgrade to iOS7 on an iPhone 3Gs. So you can't use the Podcasts app. Either this is a mistake by Apple or they are deliberately preventing it. – Wikis Jun 19 '14 at 13:09
  • iOS7 also isn't available for iPod Touch <= 4G. – David Dec 9 '14 at 13:32

Maybe this wasn't operational right away, but I just now (December 9, 2014) downloaded the Apple Podcast app on my ios 6 iPhone 3gs from the App Store. I was prompted that it requires iOS 7 or later, BUT if I clicked Download, it would download the "latest compatible version" to my iOS. I clicked download, and voila! And yes, it works.

  • I've seen this procedure posted on some of the Apple support / discussion forums. I've never been able to get it to work on my iPod Touch though. – David Dec 9 '14 at 13:35

Assuming you do not have access to a newer device (Andrea's Answer), here's a free workaround.

  1. Download the podcast episodes on your desktop computer using itunes.
  2. Add them to a playlist. (Optional, this preserves the order of the episodes and makes it easy to sync)
  3. Select the episodes and right click > Get Info > Options > Media Kind > Music.
  4. Now you may sync the playlist / "Songs" normally.

Warning: Doing this will remove the episodes from the podcast list. You can switch them back to the podcast media kind, but in my experience the episodes won't necessarily reappear in the podcast list and their order may not be preserved.

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