As previously rumoured, Apple has released a stand alone Podcasts app in the App Store. It is a one stop app, to listen to and watch all your favourite podcasts. Apple has done this to keep your podcasts separate from your Music app, making it easier to find your them. Similar to the iBooks app, when you go to subscribe to podcasts, by tapping “Catalog”, the entire interface flips over, bringing you to the Podcasts section of iTunes. From there you can subscribe to and download your podcasts, and listen to them anywhere. You can do this on WiFi or your cellular data. The UI is nice and clean, and you can tell it comes from Apple.
• Enjoy all of your audio and video podcasts in a single app
• Explore hundreds of thousands of podcasts including shows in over 40 languages
• Try the innovative new Top Stations feature to find new podcast series in a variety of topics, including arts, business, comedy, music, news, sports, and more.
• Browse by Audio or Video podcasts, or see what’s most popular in Top Charts
• Tap subscribe for your favorites and automatically receive new episodes for free as they become available
• Stream episodes or download to listen while offline
• Skip forward and back using simple playback controls
• Turn on Sleep Timer to automatically stop playing a podcast while listening in bed
• Share your favorite episodes with friends using Twitter, Messages and Mail
• Optionally sync your favorite episodes from iTunes on your Mac or PC
• Sync your episode playback for seamless transition between devices
There was one thing about this new app that bugged me, and seems uncharacteristic of Apple. Even though the app said I was logged in to my iTunes account, it did not automatically show me what podcasts I already subscribe to. In the description, it says it will sync across all devices, but I subscribe to quite a few podcasts on my Mac, and they didn’t show up on my iPhone after installing the app.
The new Podcasts app requires iOS 5.1 or newer, and requires iTunes 10.6.3 or higher for syncing. It is available in the App Store now, for free.