New Castro update adds robust Siri and Shortcuts support plus Apple Watch improvements

Castro on iPhone
Castro on iPhone (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Popular podcast app Castro has been updated.
  • This version adds robust support for Siri and Shortcuts.
  • Apple Watch users also get episode summaries.

Popular podcast app Castro has today received an update that adds robust support for not just Siri, but Shortcuts as well. The two new features are free upgrades for existing users and the update can be downloaded from the App Store now.

Starting with Siri, Castro now supports various commands that allow podcasts to be kicked off using nothing but your voice. Asking Siri to "play the news" will have the app do just that, for example. Users can also control how podcasts are played including altering the playback speed and more.

SIRI – Ask Siri to play any show in Castro, whether or not you're subscribed to it- and Castro will find the episode of that show that makes the most sense to play. – Ask Siri to play the news in Castro, and Castro will check your Queue, Top Picks, and then Inbox for recent news shows to play. – Ask Siri to play you something from any category. – Add episodes to the queue through Siri – Control all aspects of playback via Siri (playback speed, skipping ahead, jumping back, continuous play, etc) – Control Castro Plus features like Chapter skipping, Trim Silence, and enhanced Voices via Siri – There's too many to add to this list, so we made a Siri Guide in Settings so you can see what's possible without having to remember it all. SOME COMMANDS REQUIRE A SHORTCUT TO WORK, you can conveniently add them through the guide with the push of a button.

All of this support extends to the Shortcuts app as well, with users able to connect Castro to other apps and create complicated – and convoluted! – automations at will.

SHORTCUTS Many of the Siri interactions are supported to the advanced use of Shortcuts, but we've also added a ton of support for Shortcuts so you can connect Castro to any app, and create your own automations. We can't wait to see what you come up with, but if you'd like some inspiration check out the new Shortcuts gallery in settings.

Finally, Apple Watch users will now notice that they have access to episode summaries on their wrist.

OTHER – Updated Apple Podcasts library import instructions to use a new shortcut which is much easier to work with. – Episode summary is now accessible on the Apple Watch (thanks Bryan Clark) – This release requires iOS 13

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.