Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) launched today a new standalone app for Podcasts, which it describes as a way to ‘discover, subscribe to and play your favorite podcasts’. With the new app users can watch video podcasts and also listen to audio flavors. Apple came up with podcast in mid-2005, promising to take the medium “mainstream by building everything users need to discover, subscribe, manage and listen” into what was then version 4.9 of iTunes. The app is now available to download from the App Store. It’s an 8.8-megabyte download designed for both iPad and iPhone that requires iOS 5.1 or later.
The look and feel of the app is very much similar to new iTunes and App Stores found in Apple’s iOS 6 update. Similar to iBooks, the app features both, a podcast playback and management component as well as a “store” that flips around from the back. It is equipped with all the features of a standard podcast app plus it has a ‘top stations’ section which allows to see the most popular podcasts in a given topic area. The most distinguishing feature is the user interface, with a very ‘tape-decky’ retro look. With the new app programs will be offered as streaming episodes or as downloadable content, so one can listen while offline. Another new feature is the Sleep timer, which automatically stop playing a podcast while listening in bed. Twitter, Messages and email sharing are available and can sync episodes from iTunes. Podcast episode can be streamed to phone, or also can be downloaded to the device, but there’s also a new “subscribe” button which shows either a grid or list of subscribed podcasts; from where one can stream any episode, or download to the device.
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Podcasts app is the easiest way to discover, subscribe to and play your favorite podcasts on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch,” Apple’s official description reads. “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.”
This app could help Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) with an increased adoption in podcast usage and sharing as well as a boost in revenue from the Audiobooks category. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) says the final version of the software will arrive in the fall.