Apple launches new 'Podcasts' app for iPhone, iPad

in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple on Tuesday launched a new first-party application in the iOS App Store called "Podcasts," devoted to discovering and downloading Internet content.

The free application is now available to download from the App Store. It's an 8.8-megabyte download designed for both iPad and iPhone that requires iOS 5.1 or later.

"Podcasts app is the easiest way to discover, subscribe to and play your favorite podcasts on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch," Apple's official description reads. "Explore hundreds of thousands of free audio and video podcasts from the Podcasts Catalog, and play the most popular podcasts, organized for you by topic, with the all-new Top Stations feature."

The full list of features in the new Podcasts application, as highlighted by Apple, are:
  • 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
In order to optionally sync episodes of podcasts, users must be running iTunes 10.6.3 or later on their Mac or PC. Apple also noted that streaming or downloading episodes requires Internet access over Wi-Fi or a cellular data connection.

The launch of the new Podcasts application comes earlier than was rumored, as recent reports indicated that Apple planned to launch a standalone podcast application later this year as part of its iOS 6 operating system update. Previously, users were able to explore and download podcasts through the native iOS iTunes application.


  • Reply 1 of 57

    The app looks pretty slick, so that's good - but I still think it and the other iTunes functions should remain unified.  Partly because at some point it gets cumbersome ("I'm interested in vegan cooking... I'll look for an app in the AppStore... OK, now I'll open this other app so I can look for a podcast... OK, now I'll open yet another app to look for a cookbook...").  And partly because I don't want a cluttered screen - at a minimum, hopefully they'll let users put all the "iTunes apps" into one folder (hmm, called "iTunes"?) so they're all in one place and readily accessible.

  • Reply 2 of 57
    buckalecbuckalec Posts: 203member

    Video Podcasts finessed to be Channels for Apple TV

  • Reply 3 of 57
    Uhg now all my podcasts sound like crap thanks to Apple using this old tape junk! Thanks Apple!
  • Reply 4 of 57
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    Uhg now all my podcasts sound like crap thanks to Apple using this old tape junk! Thanks Apple!

    Uh, what.
  • Reply 5 of 57

    Will this app really discover "Internet content", or will it just find podcasts indexed by Apple?


    This seems like a response to the many "Download music/content" apps that have been flooding the app store.


    At the very least, I'd like to be able to add the url of a podcast not indexed by Apple.


    Also, if it really "Internet content" and not just podcasts, I'd love to drop mp3s in there. But that will never happen.

  • Reply 6 of 57
    axcess99axcess99 Posts: 47member

    And they didn't try out an Enhanced Podcast (technology Apple created and promoted).  There is no access to chapter markers in a podcast, which is actually a step backwards from Music 5.1.1 where they just broke the chapter titles, but can still see and jump by chapters.

    edit -- they do have progress within chapter and a timeline-chapter-delimited overview in the reel-to-reel section of the playback UI, but can not see titles nor effectively jump by chapters (other than blind next/prev chapter buttons or scrubbing).  And there is still no place to conceivably show chapter titles.  Also the fact that it is hidden under the artwork in the reel-to-reel section was very non-discoverable.


    The other aspect which I will have to play with, is that within music I have a playlist based upon unfinished podcasts (oldest first).  So far I can't see how to replicate that in the Podcasts app.  The goal being to have a queue of all my regular podcasts and have the next one start after the previous one finishes, oldest podcasts playing first.

  • Reply 7 of 57
    markbyrnmarkbyrn Posts: 661member




  • Reply 8 of 57
    axcess99axcess99 Posts: 47member


    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

    Uh, what.

    Start a podcast playing, and the tap the artwork.  It slides up revealing a reel-to-reel tape UI with some more playback controls such as a "playback speed" knob.

  • Reply 9 of 57
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member


    Originally Posted by Sierrajeff View Post

     at a minimum, hopefully they'll let users put all the "iTunes apps" into one folder (hmm, called "iTunes"?) so they're all in one place and readily accessible.


    1. Place a finger on any app icon on your screen and hold it there until the apps start jiggling around. 


    2. Drag one of the applicable apps on top of another applicable app. 


    3. Tap the little white on gray X in the white bubble of the newly created folder. 


    4. Type 'iTunes' in the now empty bubble


    5. Tap anywhere outside of the gray 'folder' area. 


    6. Drag the next applicable app into the new 'folder'. Repeat until you have all the apps you like in said folder


    7. Tap your home button (that's the round button in the black/white area of your iPad or iPhone) to 'exit' edit mode. 


    Same function that has been there for a while now. Have at it. 

  • Reply 10 of 57
    davemcm76davemcm76 Posts: 268member

    On device podcast subscriptions! Hurray and at long last!


    I put a request in for this way back last year when iOS 5 came out as "pc free" really didn't work for me with podcasts when going to check for new episodes was such a laborious manual task...

  • Reply 11 of 57
    zoolookzoolook Posts: 657member

    I've often wondered why podcasts don't automatically update on your iPhone/iPad without syncing with iTunes. I usually remember to sync just as I am heading out of the door... then it's backing up, preparing to sync, copying purchased items zzzz... updating genius lists, and then finally it syncs one podcast!


    So, if this app does that a little better, count me as a happy camper.

  • Reply 12 of 57
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member

    I'll play with it, but so far I'm finding one big disadvantage... blind use.

    I pretty much listen to just podcasts in my car and HAVE to have eyes-free use.

    In this app, I'm seeing a bit too much of clever artwork resulting in deep drilling.

    And the #1 ding is that the jump forwards/backwards buttons are tiny.... very bad.

    I've been using Pocket Casts by shiftyjelly and their jump 'buttons' are the entire left/right of the 'now playing' screen.

    They're also very quick to alert me to new episodes...

    So far, I'll be sticking with Pocket Casts, but will play with the Apple offering.

    It is very beautiful, but safety first.


  • Reply 13 of 57
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member

    The sleep timer is a nice touch.

  • Reply 14 of 57
    scartartscartart Posts: 201member

    that's been a feature within Clock/Timer for years.

  • Reply 15 of 57
    stustu Posts: 11member
    Hmm. 'casts I have subscribed in iTunes already, aren't subscribed in the new app. Will have a play, perhaps this is an opportunity to remove them from my iTunes and sub in the app instead.
  • Reply 16 of 57
    dyingsundyingsun Posts: 34member

    So, am I supposed to keep syncing Podcasts via iTunes or disable that altogether and rely solely on the app? Because if I stop syncing via iTunes, it won't sync back listening positions or played/unplayed status. I hate when these things become ambiguous and you don't really know what's syncing and what's not. It's a (very) welcome app, but if there's a Podcasts app now, it doesn't make any sense to keep podcasts in the Music app as well which are completely out of sync. Argh...

  • Reply 17 of 57
    For these kind of problems I recommend... getting some real problems. Then, your podcasts not syncing their last played positions, won't seem so bad.
  • Reply 18 of 57
    stustu Posts: 11member
    In iOS6, if you open the Music app after installing the Podcasts app, the podcasts button in Music app is removed with a message popup saying "Podcasts have moved - Podcasts are now in the podcasts app"
  • Reply 19 of 57
    dyingsundyingsun Posts: 34member


    Originally Posted by Stu View Post

    In iOS6, if you open the Music app after installing the Podcasts app, the podcasts button in Music app is removed with a message popup saying "Podcasts have moved - Podcasts are now in the podcasts app"


    Okay, that makes perfect sense. The same happened when they introduced the Videos app. So why won't this one do the same right now?


    UPDATE: Well, I actually know the answer... the Videos app was introduced with an iOS update, therefore the Music app was updated as well.

  • Reply 20 of 57
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member


    Originally Posted by DaveMcM76 View Post

    On device podcast subscriptions! Hurray and at long last!


    Agreed, I've been waiting for this for a long time. Glad Apple released this now rather than waiting for iOS6!

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