In the past my phones always had to have a radio and the MP3 playback or indeed video playback was always secondary to the FM transmission. Along comes the iPhone, meaning the lack of radio and the horrific capping of my mobile plan left me wanting, pushing me to podcasts.
The inbuilt podcast management isn’t “that bad” but it’s not “that good” either, my main gripe being downloading a podcast and then going back to be able to listen to it without exciting the app. This ranked 10 on the annoyance factor and then, to the rescue, instacast for iPhone comes along.
What Does It Do?
There’s a lot not to like about the podcast manager that’s built in to iOS. It relies heavily on iTunes and syncing. It doesn’t make finding new podcasts particularly easy nor keeping the ones you already subscribe to up to date. If you listen to podcasts even occasionally, it’s worth checking out Instacast, a full-on podcast solution that will slurp up the ones you’re already subscribed to, point out popular podcasts, and, mercifully, let you refresh all your podcasts with a single tap and download them for offline listening in a snap.
How Well Does It Do It?
It’s totally intuitive, grabs the pod casts you already subscribe to (making the transition totally painless), and does it all with a simple, unobtrusive interface that actually looks right at home next to the iPod app. Basically, you could forget you’re using a third party podcast app at all. And the “pull to refresh” mechanism, a la Twitter, feels as good as ever.
Instacast is available from the Apple store
(P.S. Check out the Barry from Watford Podcast. Essential for anyone with a sense of humor)
Updated 27th August.
The latest version does have a few interface fails. In previous options the list of pod casts was presented in the order they were downloaded, handy for knowing what’s recent. Now the view has changed to all podcasts, downloaded or not making it a pain in the ass to scroll down to the one you want.