Many were speculating that Apple would be developing its own podcast-playing software to be released with iOS 6 in the fall. But, the company didn’t wait and has already introduced its own Podcasts app for smartphones and tablets running iOS 5.1 or higher.
Apple has made its own app simply named “Podcasts” now available in the App Store which provides a selection of features for streamed or downloaded broadcasts.
The free app allows users to access audio and video podcasts in a single app while also exploring thousands of podcasts including shows in over 40 languages. The Podcasts app includes a Top Stations feature to find new podcast series in a variety of topics. Users can browse by audio or video podcasts, or see what’s most popular in Top Charts.
Other features include the ability to tap-subscribe for your favorites and automatically receive new episodes for free as they become available, stream episodes or download to listen while offline, share episodes with friends using Twitter, and even the ability to sync episodes from iTunes on a Mac or PC.
Previously, listening to podcasts was handled by the Music application, while users needed to find and download podcasts through the iTunes app. The new Podcosts software takes care of both of these.