High Variance

My Favorite Podcast App: It's Not What You Think

The whole Internet seemed to go crazy today about the release of Marco Arment’s new podcast app for iOS: Overcast. He’s a nerd celebrity and he’s been teasing his fanbase (myself included) for what seems like a year as he worked on it and talked about it. Marco is an accomplished entrepreneur and engineer, and this release was highly anticipated. As a fan and a regular podcast listener, you might think I would be one of his first customers, but you’d be wrong.

I’ve been using Network for the last six months and am very happy. The UI couldn’t have less chrome–All you see in the app is the artwork from your podcasts, episode descriptions, and a plus sign for adding new podcasts. Your interaction with the app is almost entirely through gestures. It’s not completely intuitive, but it makes me smile and reminds me a lot of the Clear to-do and reminders app.

Instacast, Downcast, Pocket Casts and now Overcast all have a lot more features than Network, but I don’t need a lot of features and I certainly don’t want to fiddle with my podcast app while I choose avocadoes and listen to John Siracusa complain about LCD TV’s. Some of Overcast’s features (e.g., Smart Speed) do sound cool and non-intrusive, but for now Network is perfect for me–It plays my podcasts and just melts into the background.