New Podcasts app

Apple has released a new Podcasts app for iOS.

The app has two interesting design twists on the genre. The first is that the metaphor for browsing for podcasts is an old style radio dial. Check it out:

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And the other is the media player screen, where, in keeping with the old school radio technology feel, they went with reel to reel tape. The wheels turn, and the tape slowly moves from the leftmost reel to the rightmost reel as the show progresses. Pretty.

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The app seems to have two dark spots. First, it’s slow. Often the app seems hung while it does .. something .. but then it picks up where it left off and continues on. This unresponsiveness is very un-Apple-like.

And the other dark spot is that it doesn’t seem to synchronize podcasts in the background. This is the bread and butter of other podcast apps in the App Store, so while this app is a good tool for browsing and discovering podcasts, and listening to the occasional one, it’s not the app to use to follow a series of shows. For that, check out Downcast or Instacast (or any number of others, but those are two I’m familiar with).