Podcasts and iOS 7

As you might have guessed from my Cheap Ass Gamer app, I like to listen to podcasts a lot. Usually when I’m doing something mundane like washing clothes, making food or before bed. I use my iPod touch for podcasts because iTunes is (or was) actually quite good at being a reliable hub for podcasts and the Music app is (or was) quick and simple to use.

I’m saying ‘was’ because iOS 7 removed the feature to play podcasts from the Music app, and we now have to put up with the terrible Podcasts app they haphazardly developed and left to die (To be fair, it is better now than when it was first released). There is absolutely no valid reason for this.

Everyone had a choice in iOS 6, install the app and it functioned as your place to play podcasts, or don’t install it, and keep using the Music app, no problem. Apple haven’t even been bothered updating the UI of the podcasts app to the new iOS 7 scheme, and it’s not installed by default. It appears they just don’t care.

This annoyed me quite a lot after I found out, and I set about trying to find an alternative. First I tried Instacast. It seemed quite good until adding a new podcast subscription crashed it. And because the app starts where you left off when reopened, it crashed again and again after. I tried re-installing the app several times but bumped into the same bug each time. It’s useless if I loose all my downloaded episodes each time this happens. So I searched for another alternative.

The app I settled on is called Pocket Casts. I had no problems with this app and it works great. It shows iOS 7’s new UI can be quite beautiful when done right, as the new clean look and typography is nice to look at, and is modern and flat, but still contrasts to Microsoft’s Metro Modern UI. iOS 7 is better in person than in screenshots. Pocket Casts also syncs your podcast subscriptions online; if you have to reset your device or have more than one, it keeps your subscriptions synced. So if you’re stuck on your podcasts in iOS 7, I recommend switching to Pocket Casts. Hey, now I can download direct to my iPod and don’t have to sync with iTunes. If I move my old music library to Spotify, I won’t have to use iTunes at all. Just waiting on Spotify to update its app for iOS 7 then.