We focus on listening to the creatives who record their remote podcast interviews on SquadCast, seeking feedback on their experiences from conversations with Guests. We cultivate this feedback into improvements on the micro and macro levels. From Beta to v1 we inched our way forward with each nugget of wisdom from these conversations fueling each micro improvement. With v2 we realized the opportunity to zoom out and effect improvements on the macro level for the first time.
We started with our mission to empower & encourage creatives to engage in meaningful conversations without barriers. Then reasoned up from our first principles, asking ourselves the same fundamental questions we began with. What is the ideal remote interview experience? What if podcasters felt empowered & not anxious while recording remote interviews? Can remote interviews be a podcast superpower?
Looking through the lens of all the feedback & lessons learned over 3 years, we envisioned a whole new experience for SquadCast Hosts & their Guests. We are excited to announce the release of the all new SquadCast on Monday July 22!
Guests are Remote & Mobile
The 2 biggest limitations with SquadCast have been cross-browser & mobile support, with v2 we improve both. We’re launching with full support for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, & Brave; pretty much all web browsers except Safari for now. On mobile, we’re excited to announce full support for Chrome & Firefox on Android with support for iOS coming later this year. Our Progressive Upload features were a huge stabilizing factor in v1 & now aides in a light weight experience that runs well of modern android devices on 4g & or WiFi connections.
Remastered Recording Experience
With the limited screen economy on mobile devices, we took the opportunity to redesign the entire app. We refined our color pallet, layout, & page hierarchy to minimize 100% of the functionality on desktop down into the mobile form factor, all while enhancing usability. First up was the sidebar; it’s now collapsable from the right edge of the screen & contains our awesome new Chat, more on Chat in one moment. Then we moved on to maximizing the video into a full screen experience, shared only with the controls needed to record great audio. To solidify the video conversation as the feature, the equipment controls & real-time presence info is now contained within the 3 dot menu in the top right corner for Hosts & Guests. These 2 improvements go a loooong way towards an awesome & fresh experience recording with SquadCast, but we didn’t stop there.
Light & Dark Mode
Audio & Video apps like Audition & Final Cut have a long heritage that established dark color pallets as a common design pattern. As a nod to the giant shoulders upon which we stand , SquadCast has always featured a primarily dark color pallet which we understand is in contrast to most other web apps. The design fads of today typically have designers expanded to offer a Dark Mode, we are excited to do the exact opposite & announce our new Light Mode in addition to our, already popular, Dark Mode. Hosts can toggle between the 2 pallets from within the new Member menu in the top left of the navigation & SquadCast will remember your preference across devices.
Connect with Confidence
The greatest barrier to successfully recording a remote interview on SquadCast is not the recording, quality, or experience; it’s Guests never getting connected with their Hosts in the first place. In v1, Guests were onboarded through a 4 step permission process & then click Join Session in Green Room. This was too many steps for Guests to accomplish before connecting & was also based in a time before our app was lightweight enough to run on phones, tablets, & ChromeBooks. In v2, without any clicks other than Join Session, we streamlined the whole Guest Welcoming experience into Green Room. We also no longer require Hosts or Guests to provide a name before joining the session & will now remember equipment settings when reusing or returning to sessions. Removing these barriers to entry empowers connectivity, ensuring confidence that Guests will connect reliably & with respect to everyone’s time.
Flexible Pricing for Every Workflow
A monthly subscription doesn’t fit everyone’s workflow, especially if some of your interviews are recorded in person. That’s why we are excited to announce a new pricing option designed specifically for a more flexible workflow. The Dabbler plan now offers Hosts the ability to pay $5 per hour recorded with the same quality & functionality as Hosts who subscribe to the $20 per month Unlimited plan. Hosts on The Dabbler plan can keep track of their recording time with our new Time Wallet features. With these 2 options Hosts can choose the pricing plan that fits their workflow best without sacrificing quality.
More Fun with Emoji, Gifs & Maps
Chat has always been basic in SquadCast, there for the utility of communicating with your Guests if their mic was unplugged. Anyone who follows SquadCast on social knows that we love emoji & gifs. We’re stoked to bring this to life with full support for emoji & gifs within Chat. 🤜💥🤛 Also, links are now clickable, so if your Guest wants a copy of their recording; copy the link to their file & share it right within Chat. These enhancements definitely make Chat more fun & we plan to keep exploring what possible with some interesting ideas from our community.
It’s also not that fun to stare at a big icon when Guests don’t have a camera or prefer the camera toggled off. Hosts & Guests can already choose to share location to help everyone stay present with timezones & it’s cool. We combined this opportunity for improvement with the existing location info & replaced that big icon with something way cooler… Maps! We designed the maps with 3 key constraints; uphold privacy, don’t add distractions, & stay on Brand. We achieved this by keeping the map zoomed out to the city level, removing all maps controls for stuff like street view, removing all geographic labels, & styling the map in both Dark & Light Modes. We have some more ideas along these lines & are definitely open to feedback on making the most of the new maps.
Zooming out from the micro of v1 to the macro of v2 has given us the opportunity to polish our original vision & we are stoked as we look towards the future of what’s possible. In v2 we are amplifying remote interviews with maximized video & with v3 we will build from this foundation to empower Video Recording. Remote interviews are full of creative potential & we’re grateful for the opportunity to help turn them into your superpower.