Okay so there are a lot of ways to get your fix of Podcasts. iTunes was my first real introduction to the world of podcasts and for lots of people it is still an excellent option. I find that I do all my podcast listening on my phone and for me and many others iTunes just doesn’t quite do it.
Anyway I’m not here to convince you that you need a third party app for podcasts. If you do want a bit more control than iTunes on your iPhone allows then check out Downcast. Here are a few of the things I like about the app.
Excellent playback speed control. There’s about 8 speeds to choose from so no matter how fast you like to listen to the podcast then Downcast has it covered and the interface makes it easy to pick a speed. The setting can be set at a podcast level or adjusted on the fly from the ‘now playing screen’.
Also from the ‘now playing screen’, you can toggle continuos playback on or off. So usually you might want it on but when listening in bed you can switch it off so that you don’t have it running all night.
There is also a sleep mode easily accessible from the ‘now playing screen’ if you prefer. You can pick how long it is before the app shuts off.
There are a number of skip intervals available. Once again you can access these from the ‘now playing screen’ or you can use the remote control on your headset. For the headset remote control you can choose how far forward it jumps and independently how far back.
You can of course subscribe to a podcast from the device and the app makes finding podcasts easy, it also helps with discovering new ones. You can set specific podcasts to either stream or download, and the downloads can be set to just happen when you’re on wifi.
There are excellent options for setting up playlists.
iCloud sync, so if you do listen to your podcast on multiple IOS devices they can be kept in sync. This also acts as a backup for your feeds.
These are just some of the features of Downcast. If for some reason this app doesn’t grab you then another good one is iCatcher. it has most of the same features as Downcast but with a slightly different UI. Some things are done better, others not. Either way both apps are good choices and around the $2 mark.
The devs of both apps are responsive to feedback and both Downcast and iCatcher are currently under active development. One other thing I like about both apps is that they are fully VO accessible. Voice Over “VO” is the built in screen reader for the blind and vision impaired that is included on IOS devices.