Overcast 1.0 for iPhone (iPhone screenshot 001)Overcast 1.0 for iPhone (iPhone screenshot 002)

Following an extensive beta testing period, Marco Arment – the creator of Instapaper, founder of The Magazine and co-host of the Accidental Tech Podcast – today unveiled his latest creation, an iPhone podcast client dubbed Overcast.

Available with basic features free of charge in the App Store (advanced stuff can be unlocked through a one-time In-App Purchase), Overcast for iPhone is accessible to novice users yet packs a lot of punch to make podcast die-hards happy.

Having taken Overcast for a brief spin with our own Let’s Talk iOS and Let’s Talk Jailbreak podcast series, I came away pretty impressed.

I think Marco’s full-featured app has mass appeal (at least in podcast circles) to win over folks who are unhappy with the existing podcast clients on the App Store with its sleek user interface, simplicity and elegance.

If not, perhaps advanced capabilities will make you a convert? I’m talking stuff like Smart Speed, Voice Boost and Smarter Playlists to help you listen to more podcasts in more places, try new shows and completely control your experience…

Smart Speed uses a quality audio engine to speed up slow-talkers, without distorting their voice beyond recognition, while Voice Boost normalizes speech volume.

Smarter Playlists combine regular smart filters typically found in OS X and desktop iTunes with your per-podcast priorities to automatically populate, rearrange and organize your podcast lists.

Overcast 1.0 for iPhone (iPhone screenshot 003)Overcast 1.0 for iPhone (iPhone screenshot 005)Overcast 1.0 for iPhone (iPhone screenshot 004)

If you’re considering giving Overcast a whirl, I recommend checking out an exhaustive in-depth review by Federico Viticci over at MacStories.

Here’s an excerpt from Viticci’s review:

From an implementation standpoint, Arment did an amazing job with the audio engine and the balance between Overcast’s geeky nature and mass appeal, its sophisticated design and intuitive interactions.

Overcast proves that an established app category is always ripe for innovation with the right technologies, ideas, and taste. I’ve tried many podcast apps over the years, but Overcast, thanks to its unique features and elegant design, is my new favorite.

Key features include:

  • Download podcasts for playing anytime, even when offline.
  • Search and browse for new podcasts, plus get recommendations from Twitter.
  • Create custom Playlists with smart filters and per-podcast priorities, and rearrange the list whenever you want.
  • Receive optional push notifications when new episodes arrive.
  • Subscribe to a podcast, or just add an episode: try new shows without committing.
  • Download podcasts over cellular, set a sleep timer, or use Voice Boost to enhance and normalize speech volume. (Included in Unlock Everything.)
  • Adjust playback speed, and use Smart Speed to pick up extra speed without distorting the conversation. (Included in Unlock Everything.)

Overcast for iPhone is free in the App Store.

iOS 7.0 or later is required.

A one-time “Unlock Everything” $4.99 In-App Purchase will give you access to everything Overcast has to offer, including advanced features such as Smart Speed, Voice Boost, cellular downloads, variable playback speed, per-podcast effect settings, one-by-one playback, sleep timer, unlimited playlists and unlimited episodes in playlists.

Interestingly enough, the app lets you try the effects for five minutes at a time so you can decide for yourself if unlocking everything is worth five bucks to you.

  • mlee19841

    U have to pay for off wifi downloading and adding unlimited episodes per podcast subscription. Thanks. But I’ll stick with the stock apple one for now.

  • David Fabian

    I just tried using Overcast, and I found that for my podcast listening habits it’s not quite ready for daily use. I imported 39 subscribed podcast from Pocket Casts, and immediately I saw that Overcast was downloading the most recent episode from each show. In Pocket Casts, I can choose to limit automatic downloading of new episodes to a select few of my subscribed podcasts, with the option of manually downloading or streaming other podcasts. Overcast may be fine for very casual podcast listeners, but without per-podcast download settings (something that even Apple’s Podcasts app includes), Overcast will end up eating all of your precious iOS storage.

    • J. Rockwell

      +1 on Pocket Casts…It is my go to podcast app.

  • Al

    Same problem with Castro. Not providing an iPad version to sync with the iPhone app is a deal breaker to me.

    I prefer podcasts apps like Pocket Casts & Downcasts for being universal.

    • +1

      Downcast is my podcast client of choice for having an iPhone, iPad and Mac app. It isn’t the most beautiful thing in the world but it works and works well.

  • Smeltn

    I was JUST looking for a new podcasting app as I have been a LIFELONG Stitcher user but it has gotten so incredible buggy and ad spammy as of late I am going somewhere else. I was thinking downcast because I see its name so much but going to try this one first.

  • Abdullah

    Tried the app but the downloading thing is kind of annoying. On top of that, if you pause a download, quit the app and then open it again … you’ll notice that the download would start all over again. I wish it had a streaming feature like Castro.