Everyone likes a good podcast - and if you don't you should! - but Apple doesn't exactly make it easy to make sure you're staying up to date. Instacast, essentially an RSS reader for podcasts, makes it super simple to find podcasts, listen to them at home, or download them for when you're out and about.
What is it?
Instacast, $2.49, iPhone. There's a lot not to like about the podcast manager that's built in to iOS. It relies heavily on iTunes and syncing. It doesn't make finding new podcasts particularly easy nor keeping the ones you already subscribe to up to date. If you listen to podcasts even occasionally, it's worth checking out Instacast, a full-on podcast solution that will slurp up the ones you're already subscribed to, point out popular podcasts, and, mercifully, let you refresh all your podcasts with a single tap and download them for offline listening in a snap.
Who's it good for?
People who listen to podcasts; people who want to see how Apple should be doing the podcast thang.
Why's it better than alternatives?
It's totally intuitive, grabs the podcasts you already subscribe to (making the transition totally painless), and does it all with a simple, unobstrusive interface that actually looks right at home next to the iPod app. Basically, you could forget you're using a third party podcast app at all. And the "pull to refresh" mechanism, a la Twitter, feels as good as ever.
How could it be even better?
Please, an iPad version for my beloved video podcasts! My only other complaint is that the "popular" list skews heavily towards nerdy Mac-related podcasts, but I guess that's more a problem with the user base.
Music: Kevin MacLeod