Podcasting has been around since the early 2000s, and it has undergone a massive amount of change since then. The mobile industry itself has seen change — gone are the iPods and Creative MP3 players, replaced by the dominance of smartphones. While the iPhone doesn’t hold the lion’s amount of market share that the iPod did, it has been enough to catapult both podcast clients and podcasts themselves to a completely new level. In 2013, we saw just how utterly successful that market has become. (more…)
The field of podcast apps is quickly becoming crowded: Apple’s own app, Pocket Casts, Instacast, Downcast, and soon to be Marco Arment’s Downcast. Can there be room for yet another client in a category that is difficult to differentiate in?
Apple’s Podcasts app for iOS has had a somewhat rocky history, first launching in 2012 with an app that was widely criticised for its unreliable functionality and hideous skeuomorphic-heavy interface. A second update, likely started whilst Scott Forstall was still at Apple, was released earlier this year that attempted to resolve many of the original issues and tone down the skeuomorphism, but it was still was far from perfect.
Amongst the huge number of app updates from Apple after their October 2013 event, Podcasts was updated with an all-new iOS 7 look and feel that removes every last trace of tape decks and push-buttons that made Podcasts the eye-sore it was. With some further functionality and refinements, is Podcasts finally an app Apple can be proud of?
While some radio and television networks have firmly cemented themselves in the past, opposing digital distribution of media, the BBC has been quite the opposite, embracing digital distribution with their award-winning iPlayer service. More recently, the BBC has been quietly revolutionising radio in the same way they did with television by making almost every radio show broadcast available through iPlayer, with a select number even distributed as podcasts.
To make BBC radio as accessible as possible, the company have released the BBC iPlayer Radio app, which has recently been updated with podcast support. It’s an app we’ve not looked at so far, but with the golden age of podcasting upon us, it’s high-time we check out the latest app from the Beeb.
iOS 7’s bold new design convention gave many developers the chance to completely reinvent their apps, free from the shackles the previous constraints of iOS’ stylings. Vemedio seized this opportunity and have recently released Instacast 4, the latest update to their flagship podcast app, which has been completely redesigned with a new look and feel, as well as looking to the future of iOS by making iOS 7 a requirement.
Podcasts are an incredibly beneficial way to either gain entertainment or information. News, cooking, sports and technology are amongst some of the common areas which are popular for podcasters, but there is most likely a category to suit most users.
Instacast came on the market to help alleviate the troubles most users were experiencing when having to manually sync their podcasts using iTunes. After podcast clients started to gain in popularity, Apple split podcast out of the music app on iOS and created their own podcast app. Although many users are still not happy with the experience due to a lack of syncing between the iOS apps. Instacast version 3.0 was released recently which includes an update to the syncing mechanism and also an upgraded design. The app is universal now and changed away from the in-app purchase model which was in version 2.0. Let’s find out more after the jump. (more…)
Listening to podcasts on the iPhone? Great. Managing podcasts on the iPhone? Not so great. When Apple does things right, they hit it right on the head, but the system of downloading podcasts in iTunes and then jumping over to the Music app to listen to them isn’t very simple or intuitive. Luckily, since the introduction of the App Store in 2008 there have been countless third-party apps the make up for those first-party apps that don’t quite make the grade. Luckily, this is true for podcast management apps as well.
Last August I reviewed Pocket Casts, which I deemed as “the best podcast management app available in the App Store.” Being one to always put my money were my mouth is, I spend time with three other podcast management apps to see if my claim was indeed accurate. Join me after the jump to find out the verdict. (more…)