Apple has released a brand-new Podcasts app for iOS, taking the podcasts section out of the iTunes app and spinning it into a standalone app.
A podcast consists of a series of episodes that users can subscribe to, and receive new content periodically in the form of audio files (called audio podcast, or simply podcast) or videos (called video podcast, or vodcast). The word podcast is an amalgamation of the words "broadcast" and "iPod", since podcasts, when the term originated, were often consumed on iPods. Podcasts are also called "time-shifted radio", since they are similar to radio in medium, but give the user control in terms of when and where to listen.
Though the term podcasting was being used in popular culture as early as 2004, podcasts really became mainstream when Apple released iTunes 4.9 with native support for podcasts in July 2005. Apple made it really simple for people to discover, subscribe and consume podcasts.
When Apple released iOS, podcasts found themselves under the iTunes Store app, similar to the iTunes app under Mac or Windows. But the podcasts functionality was pretty basic, with no real way to discover & subscribe content from your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. Third-party apps like Instacast and Pocket Casts stepped in to fill the void.
With Podcasts app, Apple has addressed all shortcomings and provided a full-fledged podcasts experience on iOS. All this in a UI that's uniquely Apple, with convenient features like sleep timer thrown in for good measure.
Here are some screen shots and full set of features for Apple's new Podcasts app. Stay tuned for a full review of Podcasts app on NDTV Gadgets.Podcasts
- Enjoy all of your audio and video podcasts in a single app
- Explore hundreds of thousands of podcasts including shows in over 40 languages
- Try the innovative new Top Stations feature to find new podcast series in a variety of topics, including arts, business, comedy, music, news, sports, and more.
- Browse by Audio or Video podcasts, or see what's most popular in Top Charts
- Tap subscribe for your favorites and automatically receive new episodes for free as they become available
- Stream episodes or download to listen while offline
- Skip forward and back using simple playback controls
- Turn on Sleep Timer to automatically stop playing a podcast while listening in bed
- Share your favorite episodes with friends using Twitter, Messages and Mail
- Optionally sync your favorite episodes from iTunes on your Mac or PC
- Sync your episode playback for seamless transition between devices
- Requires a device with iOS 5.1 or later
- Optionally syncing episodes requires iTunes 10.6.3 or later
- Streaming or downloading episodes requires internet access over a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection