Apple releases Podcasts, an app to discover, subscribe and listen to podcasts
Apple has just launched their own podcast app, called simply Podcasts. It's available right now in the App Store and is a universal binary so has specific interfaces for both iPhone and iPod touch, and iPad. It's a great way to listen to all your favorite podcasts, including iMore's and all the Mobile Nations shows.
Download Podcasts from the App Store, launch it, and it will immediately grab all the shows you've already got in your Music app. There are sections for audio and video podcasts, and for featured shows, top charts, and search.
Find an episode you like and you can stream it right in the app, download it to enjoy offline, or subscribe to the podcast so you can more easily get future episodes. (It will be interesting to see how Apple is handling that -- timed wake up and background downloads like Newsstand, which would be unfair in the App Store. But there don't seem to be push notifications for manual download either?)
Like iBooks, you can switch from Catalog (the free store) to Library, where your local podcasts are stored. (You even get the same turn-style animation.)
You can browse your podcasts as a grid filled with cover art, or a column view by show . Pick a show and you can choose between options to subscribe or unsubscribe, enable or disable auto-downloads, sort by newest or oldest, or mark or unmark episodes as played. You can also email, tweet, or iMessage to share shows.
Tap on a show to play it, and you get album art and controls including rewind, skip back 10 seconds, play/pause, skip ahead 30 seconds, and fast forward along with volume and AirPlay.
If you're a fan of retro skeuomorphism, you can tap the album art to rise it up and expose and old fashioned reel-to-reel tape deck along with Apple's famous tortoise and hare speed controls, a time-based scrubber, additional sharing and AirPlay controls, and a sleep timer
Here's what Apple had to say about Podcasts:
Podcasts app is the easiest way to discover, subscribe to and play your favorite podcasts on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Explore hundreds of thousands of free audio and video podcasts from the Podcasts Catalog, and play the most popular podcasts, organized for you by topic, with the all-new Top Stations feature.
The iTunes features also say it will sync between devices, so you should be able to start listening on iPhone and continue on iPad.
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What do you think about Apple releasing its own podcast app. Are you going to be sticking with your third party podcast player or will you be giving this one a go? Let us know what you think?