Apple released a standalone Podcasts app into the App Store for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad today for junkies who want to separate their listening experience from the rest of iTunes. Users will get full access to Apple’s already extensive library of thousands upon thousands of audio and video podcasts.
Rumors about a dedicated Podcasts app have been a bit of a roller coaster over the past few weeks. Shortly after the first beta of iOS 6 came out, we reported Apple was working on bringing a Podcasts app to a future version of the OS because they were suspiciously removed from iTunes. Then yesterday, Apple released iOS 6 beta 2 which brought podcasts back to iTunes. Just when everyone thought the standalone app wouldn’t see the light of day, here it is.
The Podcasts app that was made a reality today takes a similar UI to the new iTunes Store and App Store in iOS 6 with dark navigation bars and backgrounds. You can scroll through podcasts or top stations, which will nicely organize them into a carousel sorted by category. A sleep timer is available if you’re listening at night and the app will also sync playback progress across devices. Tap the Catalog to flip over and browse more podcasts to subscribe, favorite or share.
There might be some negative feedback about Apple choosing to let podcasts go solo in iOS, but I think it was a smart move. Most people either faithfully subscribe to podcasts (or make podcasts themselves) or just ignore them altogether. Making a separate Podcasts app is beneficial to people on either side.
You can get the Podcasts app for free in the App Store.