Overhaul your podcasts
Shove aside Apple’s subpar app in favour of a superior podcast manager
Discover a great replacement for Apple’s app
it will take
you will learn
How to get a better podcast experience with Overcast.
iOS 9.0 or higher. Overcast.
Let’s be completely honest: the Podcasts app is not exactly a priority for Apple.
Sure, it does the job, but we can’t help feeling that it could be so much better if Apple only devoted a little more time to it.
In the absence of that, we’re going to take a look at Overcast. It’s a free app that offers a far superior podcast experience to Apple’s own offering, giving you much more granular control over how episodes are played, sorted and organised on your device.
We particularly like the Nitpicky Details section of the app’s settings. Here, you can enable remote episode skip, which lets you play, pause, fast forward and skip podcasts simply by using your headphone’s inline remote or your car’s steering wheel control buttons. There’s even an option to show the number of unfinished episodes on the app’s iOS icon, “to add stress to your life”.
Some of Overcast’s best features lie in its Effects flyout menu, accessible when you’re playing an episode. There’s the standard play speed adjustment (as found in Apple’s app) – useful if you want to cram in a few more episodes on your daily commute – but that’s where the similarities end, as Overcast has some clever extras. First up is Smart Speed, which shortens silent stretches so you’re left with less dead air and snappier podcasts. The second one is Voice Boost, which strengthens and equalises podcasters’ voices. That means quieter voices are brought up to the same level as louder ones, even in the same episode, which is a great feature for noisy car journeys.
Sharing is caring
There are plenty more things – even just small touches – that make Overcast an excellent app. While viewing show notes for podcasts you’ve subscribed to is easy enough in Apple’s app, it’s all but impossible for those you haven’t subscribed to. Not so in Overcast, which makes it easy to find this info for any episode.
You get useful sharing options in Overcast, too. For instance, you can share an episode with friends and have it start playing at a specific point. Also, you can link your Twitter account to get recommendations from people you follow and the Overcast community.
Then there are smart playlists – one of Overcast’s strongest assets. We’ll describe them in more detail opposite.
Overcast gives more granular control over the playback, sorting and organisation of episodes