Podcasts app revitalizes the medium
Apple released the altogether new Podcasts app today. This is where podcast listeners may now download, stream, subscribe, or simply manage their subscriptions of all iTunes-based podcasts.
Rumor has gone around that Apple intended to release this new app for about a week. In the beta for iOS 6 it was noticed that Apple pulled podcasts from the Music app where they have been all along. Users of the iPhone using iOS 5 of older have found them in the same place from the beginning of Podcasts on the iDevices. From the looks of it, Apple wasn’t planning to make us wait for the release of iOS 6. As they say, Apple likes to do things differently, so they released the app ahead of the Apple’s culture’s expectations.
The Podcasts app is clever and reminiscent of third party apps, in a sense. It doesn’t feel like something Apple would have produced two years ago for iDevices. It’s look, feel, and function is reminiscent of other media streaming apps like Songza and Spotify.
At the same time, Podcasts is in keeping with Apple’s design aesthetic of the new Music player for iOS. It looks as though the podcast you are currently playing is played on a retro tape player. It looks like something older than a cassette deck.
My favorite feature of the app is looking for new content on iTunes without using the iTunes app. You can discover new content from within Podcasts in a super-slick user interface. It’s a relatively simple (read “Apple”) approach with this new way of sorting through the content available, but its unlike anything I’ve seen in an iOS app before. It’s kinda difficult to describe, so if you’re curious I recommend you just go check it out for yourself.
So, the question on everyone’s mind: is it a good app? Considering that Podcasts has only been available for a few hours, and more than 700 average user ratings give it four out of five stars, I would say Apple has a winner.