Apple's Podcast app is currently crashing for many people whenever it tries to connect with iTunes. It can still play previously downloaded episodes, but when it tries to refresh or stream, it crashes. However, there does seem to be a workaround that's getting past the crashing bug for a lot of people. It may look convoluted but it worked for me and hopefully it'll work for you!
How to stop the Podcast app crashing bug
- Pull up from the bottom of the screen for Control Center
- Tap the Airplane mode icon to turn of the internet connection (presumably to prevent Podcasts from trying to contact iTunes).
- Pull to refresh on the main Podcasts screen (presumably that clears whatever bad bits got stuck).
- Pull up from the bottom of the screen for Control Center again.
- Tap the Airplane mode icon to turn the internet connection back on.
Podcasts should now be able to connect to iTunes again and let you stream or download shows as normal.
Note: Some people are reporting additional issues, even after this gets it working again, so pay close attention, especially if you're on a data connection. Better bored than sorry.
It's probably safe to assume Apple is aware of the issue and working on a proper fix for everyone. But in the meantime, if Podcasts is your player of choice, give this quick fix a try. It worked for me so hopefully it'll work for you. Let me know in the comments!
Thanks to @gaz_col for the tip!