Apple updates Podcasts app with new playback UI, custom stations and more

By , Mar 21, 2013

podcasts 1.2

Apple has updated its largely unpopular Podcasts app this afternoon, bringing it to version 1.2. The update is a fairly significant one, bringing about a number of improvements including iCloud syncing, custom stations and more.

Proponents of a less-skeuomorphic design will be happy to hear that Apple has also dialed down the styling in the app a bit. The new playback window, for example, now features flat icons instead of the bulky tape-like buttons…

Here’s the full Podcasts 1.2 change log:

-Create custom stations of your favorite podcasts that update automatically with new episodes
-Choose whether your stations begin playing with the newest or oldest unplayed episode
-Your stations are stored in iCloud and kept up-to-date on all of your devices
-Create an On-The-Go playlist with your own list of episodes
-Playlists synced from iTunes now appear in the Podcasts app
-The Now Playing view has been redesigned with easier to use playback controls
-Addressed an issue with resuming playback when returning to the app
-Additional performance and stability improvements

It’s good to see that Apple has finally added support for iCloud and iTunes playlist syncing—a long overdue feature. Now you can select your favorite podcasts on your desktop, and they’ll sync to your iOS device so you can listen on the go.

As far as the UI changes, I’ve never really hated Podcasts’ ‘skeuomorphic’ design. I didn’t like that it was missing features, or ran kind of clunky, but I never thought it looked that bad. This being said, I’m digging the simpler playback controls.

Do I think that today’s update is enough to make me stop using third party apps like Instacast or Downcast? No, it’s not quite there yet. But hey, it’s free and better than ever. So if you want to check it out, you can find it in the App Store.

Whatever app you use, remember to add iDB’s new podcast ‘Let’s Talk Jailbreak.’ Click here to subscribe in iTunes or here to download Episode 2 directly.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.liu.7503 Jonathan Liu

    A Lot of work still needed

  • JoeCoxon

    So do we think this is possibly a sign of things to come for apple? Now that ives has a lot more control over software maybe this is a sneak peak at iOS’s future direction with a much cleaner design and less skeuomorphic elements.

    I hope so!

    • Mohammed Sahib

      I don’t. I hope they will just add useful features and flexibility, without changing the feel of iOS. I dig the skeuomorphic design.

  • http://twitter.com/solidsephiroth Sam Irizarry

    Moving away from skeumorphism. Could this be a sign of things to come in iOS7?

    • http://www.facebook.com/arnaud.ne Arnaud Nelissen

      I think it is.

      I also think updating those apps not so long before WWDC is a way to get the user’s opinions, and then adapt the entire OS or not !

      • http://twitter.com/solidsephiroth Sam Irizarry

        That seems like a plausible reason.

  • samdchuck

    I can now finally use this app, (smart) playlists are a must for me, these [smart playlists] never showed up correctly in the music app, they always had different orders or included items that should be in it.

  • http://flavors.me/mile MILE

    Now if only it would actually delete the episodes that I’ve already listened to and only keep the new ones — as is set in the preferences — instead of keeping it all and filling up my iPhone…! :-/

    • a smit

      yup . it still sucks

  • http://twitter.com/ChrisRigby80 Christopher Rigby

    It now has badges on the app on my springboard for unplayed episodes. It’s a good job my phone is jailbroken to remove them

    • samdchuck

      Or you could, you know, just disable them in the notifications settings.

  • yader

    I use stitcher radio. thank you for putting your podcast on it finally. thx

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510708875 Jesse Hardesty

    This was great until I noticed they completely removed the All Unplayed Episodes, which is what I primarily used. Now I hate it all over again.