Apple released their Podcasts app for the iPhone and iPad back on June 26th, and given I am a frequent podcast listener — I decided to give it a shot. And at risk of offering a spoiler here, I love the app but have since deleted it from my iDevices.
Aside from simply being a podcast app, I liked the fact that it came from Apple and offered a nice looking design. In fact, the navigation and use is pretty stellar. In this respect I would certainly suggest others give it a shot. It is fairly easy and straight forward in terms of finding new podcasts and even subscribing to ones that you already know and listen to.
The Top Stations section is a nice perk as it allows for easy navigation, but perhaps more important for some — easy discovery of new shows. The app, although nice but not as critical for me, is visually appealing. The controls are fairly standard for anyone that has been using a podcast app on an iDevice and include a volume up/down slider along with a reverse and forward and 10-second back and 30-second forward. Not to mention the play/pause. Tapping the cover art for the podcast (while playing) will also give some additional options such as a sleep timer.
The Podcasts app allows you to stream and/or download episodes and preferences can be set on an individual basis. Some of these settings include the option to auto-download, whether or not to subscribe and options for sorting the shows. In my experience, the streaming and downloading worked equally well, but as we often have to remind, you may be better served by downloading at home on Wi-Fi and then listening as opposed to streaming over a cellular connection. After all, most carriers and most users have plans with limits these days.
One feature that I was excited about, but was less than thrilled by in reality — iCloud syncing. Simply put, it did not work all that well for me.
Bottom line, I really like the app but there was one point that caused me to go back to Downcast — the ability to manually sort my “unplayed episodes” playlist. You see, I subscribe to 20 plus podcasts and some of them (news related) are more time sensitive. I like the ability to be able to have one general playlist for all new items (like Podcasts has), however I need to be able to manually sort that list. That being said, while Podcasts has been deleted, I did like it enough that I would be willing to give it another shot in the future.
Via [iOS App Store]