Podcasts by Apple
Cost: Free | Developer:Apple | Platform:iOS | Version 1.0 | 8.8MB | 4.0+
Apple’s new Podcasts app is designed to make the vendor’s customers’ lives easier by offering quick access to its library of video and audio podcasts – the concept is there, although the execution lacks.
Although the app operates smoothly and contains a straight-forward interface, like all Apple offerings, it has a long way to go before it will be suitable for regular use. When giving it a test drive, I came across the same problems as the customers who have left reviews.
Podcasts is pitched as “the easiest way to discover, subscribe to, and play your favourite podcasts,” but it lacks in all but the latter.
The search function is highly frustrating. Quite a few things I looked for showed no results, and when I broadened my criteria, too many irrelevant results came back.
Browsing isn’t convenient either. Yes, there are a range of categories, but these are far too vast. For example, all music comes under one list; there is no genre break-down, so you’ll be tapping away at the “10 more podcasts” button for a while until you come across something appealing.
The ‘top stations’ feature of the app is, again, a good concept, but there is one issue which makes it a struggle to use efficiently: many podcasts don’t have a cover image, and no text to make up for it. This means that you’re left with a bunch of frames with a podcast icon on them. You have to tap through to the information for each to actually find out what the station is; annoying when you’re going through dozens of channels.
An issue which I haven’t faced (as I only own one Apple product), but have seen raised by other customers is the synching feature. According to some reviews, subscriptions aren’t synched across all devices.
If I had to rate this pilot, I’d give it a generous two stars as a result of all these problems, although I don’t doubt that Apple will be quick to patch these issues.
Pros: Good concept, simple interface.
Cons: Synching issues, poor search and browsing.
Verdict: Definitely an app to keep your eye on for coming updates as it will make accessing and using podcasts a lot better once patched.
Get it here:Apple App Store
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