Apple launches podcast app

Apple has spun out a stand-alone iOS app for subscribing and listening to podcasts from iTunes, outside of its iTunes app.

(Credit: Apple)

Apple quietly released a stand-alone app for podcasts today, a specialty software designed for listening and subscribing to audio and video podcasts.

Podcasts are pre-recorded audio shows, of varying genres, that users can subscribe to and download for offline listening. Apple jumped on the podcast bandwagon 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.

A report from All Things Digital earlier this month claimed that Apple was at work on just such a stand-alone app, however the timing was unclear.

Among the specialty features of the app is a way to subscribe to a podcast — something that has long been a part of the desktop version of iTunes, but not found in the podcast functionality of Apple's iTunes iOS app. The app also has a custom player, resembling an analog tape deck, with special controls that differ from Apple's typical, built-in player. Other features include a sleep timer that turns off the app after an allotted time, built-in sharing tools and the option to automatically update and download your podcast subscriptions.

(Credit: Apple)

The podcast section remains in the current version of iTunes for iOS, though a developer source has said that the feature is no longer a part of iTunes in the latest beta version of iOS 6, which went out to developers yesterday. Apple said that the final version of iOS 6 will arrive later in the year.

Here's the full description of the app from iTunes:


Podcasts app is the easiest way to discover, subscribe to and play your favourite podcasts on your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Explore hundreds of thousands of free audio and video podcasts from the Podcasts Catalogue, and play the most popular podcasts, organised for you by topic, with the all-new Top Stations feature.


  • Enjoy all of your audio and video podcasts in a single app

  • Explore hundreds of thousands of podcasts, including shows in over 40 languages

  • Try the innovative new Top Stations feature to find new podcast series in a variety of topics, including arts, business, comedy, music, news, sports and more

  • Browse by Audio or Video podcasts, or see what's most popular in Top Charts

  • Tap subscribe for your favourites and automatically receive new episodes for free, as they become available

  • Stream episodes or download to listen while offline

  • Skip forward and back using simple playback controls

  • Turn on Sleep Timer to automatically stop playing a podcast while listening in bed

  • Share your favourite episodes with friends using Twitter, Messages and Mail

  • Optionally sync your favourite episodes from iTunes on your Mac or PC

  • Sync your episode playback for seamless transition between devices.


  • Requires a device with iOS 5.1 or later

  • Optionally syncing episodes requires iTunes 10.6.3 or later

  • Streaming or downloading episodes requires Internet access over a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection.


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baillies posted a comment   

Does it have a setting to block downloads over 3G. I would really like this as an option in IOS as it would be useful for the new iview app for iphone, ipod and ipad released yesterday.

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