I am a big fan of podcasts. My iPhone’s memory is around 30% full of various podcasts.
I really like listening to podcasts in bed at night, with my headphones – I think the sound of people talking makes me fall asleep easier (probably explains why i’m always so tired at work then!)
I was really happy when Apple released the standalone podcast app at the end of June (I was so excited that I managed to download it on holiday, using the wi-fi at the beach – hows that for technology!)
As much as I love podcasts, I absolutely HATE plugging my phone into my laptop, and will only do it when it’s absolutely necessary, so I always downloaded my podcasts through the iTunes app on my phone. This was a massive faff, as I listen to a lot of them, and they dont (didn’t) automatically download, so i’d find myself having to go through each podcast and individually update?
The podcast app downloads as and when the new podcasts become available, as long as there is a wifi connection open. and you can choose how many episodes you want to keep/when they should be deleted.
There is a ‘top stations’ section that finds podcasts which are similar to the ones you already listen to
The display is really nice, and easy to use with options to listen at a slower or faster speed (illustrated by a tortoise and a hare which i thought was a nice touch).
There is also a sleep timer which is great for me who likes to listen to them in bed, means I dont wake up and find that my phone has been on all night.
Now for the bad bit….
The app is really slow. Really….really slow and unresponsive.
When I open the downloaded podcasts it can take a while before the controls will register my input – I get a bit frustrated with it and press all over the screen trying to get it to respond. When it finally does un-freeze the damn thing starts registering my frantic key presses and the whole thing has a massive spasm.
If I want to scroll to a particular point in a podcast to listen again, its virtually impossible to get it exactly spot on, as the scroll bar is very small. My big sausage fingers dont deal well with this!
Whilst doing research on this, I found another podcast app Instacast (costs $1.99) which I might try and see how that one fares.
Overall the functionality is there, just needs a few tweaks and updates in order to make it slick and user friendly. I think someone at Apple got a bit excited and released the podcast app before it was fully ready to go and bug free.