Apple's Podcasts for iPhone and iPad gets updated

Apple has updated Podcasts for iPhone and iPad with significant improvements to performance and stability. Additionally, Podcasts in your library will show the number of unplayed episodes, Top Stations will show the podcast title if artwork is missing, and when playing the next episode, playback speed is remembered.

Do you find these changes to improve the Podcasts experience? Is Podcasts syncing play position more reliably now? Or are you sticking with a third party player? Let us know!

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Leanna Lofte

Former app and photography editor at iMore, Leanna has since moved on to other endeavors. Mother, wife, mathamagician, even though she no longer writes for iMore you can still follow her on Twitter @llofte.

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Reader comments

Apple's Podcasts for iPhone and iPad gets updated


It could hardly be worse, though I won't really get to field test it until my daily hordes of podcasts update.

Related question, since the Podcasts app has been so poor for me...can you still play podcasts in the music app in iOS6, or has that been removed completely?

I have not tried it yet due to all the bad reviews. Question: will it sync podcasts with iTunes? as in if I pause on a device or play it will that show on my iMac (with or without plugging it in?)? I am unclear how the desktop ties in to this app.

I will need to check this out. I was waiting for an update. I like having a dedicated podcast app. That's why I held on to my Blackberry for a long time. That and BBM.

I'm sticking with Downcast. I was very disappointed with this app when apple released it. I think it was rushed and still needs polished. I can't believe apple released it the way it was. They should have added a lot more features and the apple quality is just not there.

The update is much needed and better. However, I tought that the podcasts were supposed to sync across devices. Downcast, for example, let's you pick up on one device where you left off on another. It uses iCloud. If I'm not mistaken, the feature list for Apple's Podcast app says that it's supposed to sync, but it still doesn't with the update.

It really is sickening how Apple's apps suck so bad. They, more than anybody, should be implementing their top teir features like iCloud. Especially, since podcasts were basically "invented" by Apple and they are still a huge part of the iDevice culture.

I ask this because Apple and Apple fandom have a reputation for claiming, suggesting, or acting as if Apple invented stuff that clearly existed before. So...

What do you mean Apple "invented" podcasts? Do you get that from the idea that podcasts were apparently named after iPods? I've heard multiple people credited with the invention of podcasts but never Apple. If this is your reasoning, I must disagree.

Fr those wondering "who cares," well reputations matter. We fans ought to be careful how we paint the picture because it may reveal our rose-colored biases.

Apple did not invent podcasts, but they popularized them. Dave Winer was probably the first to use them -- basically just an RSS feed with a specific media enclosure -- back around 2000/2001. I think he originally referred to it as audioblogging, but podcast took hold as a name as they grew in popularity over the next few years because people used them to put these regular audio bits on their media players, where iPods of course dominated.

Despite their slow but steady growth, podcasts were still mainly in use by geeks and newshounds until 2004, when Apple put podcast support into iTunes 4.9, at which point they really rocketed into the mainstream.

I apologize. I didn't use the best choice of words. I did put invented in quotations. A better way of putting it would be they popularized the podcast. Certainly, Apple didn't invent the podcast. I guess what I'm trying to say is that they created an enormously popular ecosystem for creating and listening to podcasts on their devices, and the quality of their podcast app should be second to none, IMO.

That's all.

Sticking with Downcast. Simply lacks the features i want and i'm not that fond of the interface especially hiding the scrobbler. I'd also like more options with skip times. Also no icloud and other stuff. not polished at this point.

also considering how much money they have in cash i kinda think, why don't they simply buy a podcast app company, for the app. And there are a few other things like pulse news or flipboard or sugarsync. Maybe they'd simply cost too much to be worth it.

Love the interface, frustrated that it still freezes, crashes, insists on adding subscriptions from my itunes library I've deleted 15 times over on the ipad. Painfully slow. I was very hopeful that the update would fix the many bugs but thus far I haven't seen one single improvement.

I'm down to 5 podcasts and I've turned off subscriptions and auto-download. I have no other apps running in the background and have tried resetting the phone (3GS) and ipad (1) several times. I've even deleted around 50% of the apps I used to have on the devices to just keep what I use at least once every 3 months. I've found the only way to listen to podcasts is to go into Airplane mode; that takes a little of the lag and crashiness out of the app.

I'm back to using the awful, but at least useable music app for my podcasts. Apple, please get back on track and worry less about future product releases and stock prices; what you already have out there has GOT TO WORK!

I'm with spanishcop. I like Downcast better. I listen at 3x speed so I can get more postcast listened to during my drives. 2x just isn't fast enough. That is my main reason for not switching.

Even with the updates this app still is laggy,unresponsive, and IMHO poorly designed. Of course Apple's target audience for this app is the podcast novice or casual listener. That being said, Apple should have put more effort into putting a better product in terms of design and stability into the marketplace.

I have tried many of the more popular (and some of the lesser ones too) podcast apps and the one I find most suited for my tastes and use-cases is Instacast. I have tried several times to like Downcast but I find the overall look and feature set of Instacast more to my liking. I really like Instacast's ability to automatically download new episodes and download multiple episodes concurrently, which Downcast does not do.

I'd like for it to truly download podcasts I. The background instead of requiring me to both, leave the app open AND go to it to sort of wake it up so it will start downloading the podcasts.

I, too, am surprised that they even released it in this state. I've downloaded the update but I haven't put it to the test because I'm so used to my workarounds for its shortcomings.

I'm in the camp that they should have waited. Hopefully they bake this into iOS 6 and things like background downloads, etc will be able to work.

I'm still using Instacast for now. I like the Podcast interface, but am still getting old podcasts showing up as new.

This is the worst app I own, the first poster said it works much better now, they have to be using some other app because it isn't this one. I can't download or play a podcast now because it crashes instantly. I can't seem do play podcasts in my music player now since the update. Hope they fix it soon it Is physically impossible for it to suck more at this point.

I like the podcast app. I'm seeing lots of complaining about it, but I haven't noticed any problems. And one cool thing (if not a minor thing) is that when the podcast is playing and you tap the screen of the iPad the image changes to show an animated reel to reel player. It's pretty cool to look at.