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Listen up: Podcasts now a standalone iOS app

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No longer buried under menus in the Music app, Apple(s AAPL) has created a standalone place to keep your podcasts: In an iOS app called, you guessed it, Podcasts. It’s free and is available now.

In addition to all of its previous features as part of the Music app, the new Podcasts has its own top podcasts charts, a sleep timer to turn off a podcast if listening in bed, share sheets for Twitter, iMessage and Mail (perhaps Facebook(s FB) sharing is coming to the app in iOS 6?), and a Top Stations section to allow better discovery of podcasts by topic, not just by publisher or title.

Podcasts was quietly released Tuesday sans press release, but for heavy mobile podcast listeners, this is important. Apple’s done a decent job in its mobile software of avoiding the problem that plagues desktop iTunes, where books, music, videos, apps and more are all packed into a single app. With iOS, Music, Videos, iBooks and Apps are each individually broken out from the iTunes App. But podcasts were still buried.

That changes now. And it’s a good sign for users that Apple is helping them to more easily find and surface stuff they like a lot easier — something Apple still needs to work on within its App Store. But it’s of course not-so-good news for existing apps on the App Store that were already catering to this need.

10 Responses to “Listen up: Podcasts now a standalone iOS app”

  1. Jenn @ Bawdy Books

    Did we really need an app? I can easily go to my Podcasts on my phone via Music App > More > Podcasts. The same way I get to audiobooks or playlists.

  2. Steve Kuker

    I applaud Apple for introducing this app, it is just another example of the iPhone/iPad becoming stand alone devices in the “post-pc era”, it’s so nice to be able to now subscribe to podcasts right from a mobile device.

  3. Oliver Stevenson

    ‘Requires iOS 5.1’. Seriously Apple? Why would an app require iOS 5.1? On a jailbroken iPod and really can’t be arsed with the almighty effort of a minor upgrade just for this (every time I’ve upgraded I’ve lost my jailbreak settings).

    • anonymouse

      Plenty of apps require the latest iOS version, get over yourself. If you can’t be arsed to re-jailbreak your iPad, that’s hardly Apple’s issue. (I missed the window to jailbreak iOS 5.0 on my iPhone and went without newer versions of some apps until iOS 5.1 was jailbroken. Seriously, it’s a first world problem).

      • Oliver Stevenson

        Heh, okay. I haven’t seen any other apps require it is all. Do you know what exactly 5.1 introduces such that it would be necessary? But I am a little fed up of the upgrade process on jailbroken iDevices.

        Also, just because an issue is a ‘first world problem’ doesn’t mean it isn’t worth mentioning.

      • Oliver Stevenson

        This also may explain why a lot of my apps won’t update if the real reason is that I need iOS 5.1 to update. At the moment my iPod just says ‘unable to buy’ when I try and update most of my apps.

  4. PXLated

    What’s the difference between a podcast & a radio/tv show? – Nothing I can determine – Could the Apple podcast app be the forerunner to paid subscriptions for TV?