Overcast iDownloadBlog podcasts

Developer Marco Arment today issued a major update to Overcast, its praised podcast player and manager app for the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Apple Watch. Going from the freemium to free model, Overcast 2.0 is now a free app without In-App Purchases, advertising or other limitations.

Instead, you can now support the continued development of Overcast, if you want, by becoming a patron which entails a recurring subscription.

If not, enjoy everything Overcast hast to offer absolutely free of charge.

One of the major new features in Overcast 2.0 is streaming, which can now be used with Smart Speed and Voice Boost effects to save time when listening to podcasts by shortening moments of silence without having to download new episodes first.

Overcast highlights

With streaming support, non-downloaded episodes can be enjoyed instantly by tapping on a new cloud icon. The show will begin streaming immediately while the app downloads the episode in the background for offline playback at a later time.

Newly added switches in Overcast’s settings let you choose between always streaming when playing, downloading first on Wi-Fi only or always downloading new episodes on both Wi-Fi and Cellular.

What’s lacking here is an option to turn off streaming over your mobile data connection. Therefore, folks on metered cellular connections are advised to disable Overcast in their iPhone’s cellular settings and download individual episodes manually over Wi-Fi.

Another quibble: you cannot filter a playlist to only show downloaded episodes.

Overcast 2.0 for iOS iPhone screenshot 002

With Chapters, another new feature in Overcast 2.0, you can jump to specific parts of an episode, as defined by the show’s author in the podcast metadata. The app supports common chapter formats like Enhanced AAC and MP3 Chapters.

If a chapter has a link, you can tap it to open content in iOS 9’s new Safari View Controller (it’s replaced the old WebKit-based in-app browser). Episodes with Chapters can be shared using a new Share at Chapter Start option from the Share menu, which sets the timestamp to the beginning of the chapter as marked in the audio file.

On the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4, Overcast can be invoked in Slide Over view or in side-by-side Split View multitasking mode. And yes, Overcast 2.0 supports 3D Touch shortcuts on the Home screen of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

For the full overview of all the goodies Marco added to the app, I recommend checking out MacStories editor Federico Viticci’s detailed review of Overcast 2.0.

Monthly patronage

A new optional monthly patronage is available if you want to support the continued development of Overcast. To become a patron, head over to the in-app settings and select Support Overcast.

You’ll be presented with three subscription packages:

  • $2.99 for three months
  • $5.99 for six months
  • $11.99 for a year

Again, this is an optional feature meaning people who are not interested in becoming patrons can simply download Overcast 2.0 and enjoy all of its features free of charge. Becoming a patron yields no additional benefits in terms of app features.

Overcast 2.0 changelog

Here’s what’s new in Overcast 2.0:

  • Streaming
  • Chapters
  • Storage management
  • Icon badge option
  • Play-by-priority option
  • Smart Speed now dynamically adjusts to quiet voices
  • Lots of bugs fixed, including playlist reordering and storage growth
  • Tons of little improvements and optimizations

As mentioned, Overcast is now a freemium download so all of its features are now available to everyone at no charge, no strings attached. Make no mistake about it, this is a fully featured podcast player.

In addition to downloading and streaming podcasts, Overcast lets you get recommendations from Twitter, manage podcasts with custom playlists and smart filters, receive push alerts when new episodes arrive and much more.

And this is what Overcast looks like on the Apple Watch.

Overcast 2.0 for iOS Apple Watch screenshot 001

I particularly like Overcast’s built-in sleep timer and the ability to adjust playback speed without distorting the conversation. And if you own a car with built-in CarPlay support, or one of aftermarket CarPlay receivers, you can now listen to your favorite podcasts in your vehicle with Overcast and CarPlay.

Availability

Overcast 2.0, a 4.6-megabyte download, requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 9.0 or later. Overcast is English-only and includes an app for your Apple Watch with a glance and actionable notifications.

Grab Overcast 2.0 for free in the App Store.

  • Kmoxstar

    Maybe I’ll give this app another shot. I use pocket casts, every time I venture to try another podcast app I always go back to it.

  • Anonymous

    All about the stock pod cast app

  • George

    As if the guy that got millions of dollars off the tumblr sale needs anymore money. Go support developers that actually need it.

    • Mr.Coolfreak

      what an ignorant statement, that app did com out of nowhere; and why do you buy Apple products? its not like they need any more money, Go support companies that actually need it.

      • George

        I’m not talking about his app I’m talking about his patreon crap.

      • derekaw

        He deserves to make as much money as people want to pay him.

    • I think that’s a terrible way to look at this. Yes Marco is probably a millionaire, and technically, he doesn’t even need to work at all. But because he can afford to not make money, he comes with what I believe are very creative and original ways to make his app available. In a way, he’s actually trying to change the way we feel about app monetization. It takes balls (and a lot of money in the bank) to do things like that. I’m glad he did

      • George

        I was mainly referring to his patreon which is money that can go to struggling developers instead.

      • Smeltn

        if they are struggling then they need to do better on their apps

      • George

        Stupid logic when apple rapes you with 30%

      • Apple is entitled to do so. Don’t like it then go elsewhere.

      • George

        You guys are overly sensitive.

      • Not overly sensitive, just pointing out the facts. Apple’s store, Apple’s rules.

      • George

        Yes and I realize that, I don’t need it explained to me like I’m 5 years old.

      • derekaw

        you are behaving like a 5 year old.

      • derekaw

        You are an awful person.

      • Greg Warren

        Joys of capitalism, spend your money on developers whose products deserve it most. Want more money? Build a better mouse trap.

      • Mr.Coolfreak

        He’s not asking for donations, he’s asking money for his app

    • Smeltn

      what an idiotic statement. Guy is smart and made an app that millions love, sold it and now since he made millions off of it he shouldn’t be able to do it again? These Millennials I tell you what.

    • Rupinder

      It’s not like he’s forcing you to pay him. It does not obstruct the app either, the option is hidden in the settings. Just because he made a lot doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve anymore.

    • Steven Honey

      Which is why the app is now free, unless you would like to help invest in making it a better app down the road.

    • derekaw

      Thats a terrible thing to say. You deserve to die in a bus crash or something.

      • George

        Lmao, you seem like you have a lot of issues. And yah I’m on anti depressants maybe I should kill myself.

    • disqus_rcikS7fUoL

      WTF George? A guy releases a paid app for free and your response is F8%k him, he’s rich?

  • Smeltn

    I perchased this app as soon as it came out as I was looking for a great podcast app to use on iOS. (This was before the default Podcast app). I love its features and still do..

    After seeing the new watch look though, I WANT a black background on the standard iOS app as well now!! Give me black with the orange buttons like that!!! Looks hot

  • Chris Penfold

    The patronage (not patreon) is buried in the setting section. It isn’t front and center at all. It is more of a tip jar. Also, it does not auto renew. As of typing this 4,937 people became patrons today. It says that in the section. It is 99c for a one month patronage. Fair enough for an app in the dock of my iPhone. I paid for three months and will likely give more if I remember.

  • Mr_Coldharbour

    “Requires iOS 9.0” …cheers, Marco!

  • My truck doesn’t have Car Play, but it does have an aux port. And I find Overcast to be the best one for use in the car. It seems to be the one podcast app that doesn’t require a thousand clicks to play a podcast.