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Overcast

 

Today — obligatory finallyOvercast hit the App Store, and all the guys are writing positive reviews.1

I have nothing wild to add; it’s nice: Overall UI refresh is fantastic as compared to my previous podcast app of choice, Instacast. For a while I’ve been dissatisfied with Instacast extremely modal separation between player controls, playlists, and editing subscriptions. On these scores I’m really happy with the feel of using Overcast. A few other things have made it a real pleasure to use, so far:

  • Effortless import from other podcast apps is brilliant and executed so well.
  • Miniplayer at the bottom is great, immediately improving on one of the things that was frustrating about listening in Instacast
  • Overcast resumes playing perfectly: If it cycles out of memory while I’m doing other things on the phone, opening up the app makes it perform much like Rdio does, with the miniplayer appearing at the bottom after a short delay so it’s easy to resume without having to re-find what I was listening to. Unlike Rdio, it even starts playing automatically in the car when bluetooth is active. I love this.
  • Continuous play mode combined with easy arranging of podcasts in a playlist: Cool.
  • Integration with web account for desktop use: Marco has said recently that he doesn’t like doing web apps anymore, and I suppose this barely qualifies as an actual web app; but he really gets web app infrastructure, and the backend support for Overcast works seamlessly and does what it’s supposed to — provide a web point of access to the things I want to listen to for those times I’m at my desk and don’t want to work through the iPhone. All it’s missing is a way to add a subscription (perhaps this is in v1.1), and meanwhile Huffduffer perfectly fits the bill for ad-hoc episode additions.
  • Sharing: Built-in sharing to Twitter and Instapaper, yes, thank you. Once I get something to one of those services, it’s easy to pick up downstream through IFTT. And if I want to get to a specific sharing bookmarklet in Safari, there’s no need to deal with a built-in web view for podcast sites — Just an open in Safari option that makes all those links very close at hand. If there were a Pinboard share option here my social links would be complete, I think.

I’ll have to explore the recommendations feature some more.2 So far, I’m just pleased and happy. I have a couple of long road trips over the next two weeks, and I’m looking forward to putting the app much more fully through its paces.


  1. See MacStories and Snell, for example. [return]
  2. I see my friend Joel is having some trouble sorting it out, so I’m probably already at a big disadvantage. [return]