CNET reviews Apple’s Podcasts app: All kinds of suck; the worst app Apple ever made

“Podcasts are all kinds of awesome. A Prairie Home Companion, This American Life, Wiretap, The Truth — there’s a virtually endless supply of great listening to be had free of charge,” Rick Broida writes for CNET.

“Apple’s Podcasts app, on the other hand, is all kinds of suck,” Broida writes. “It’s so abysmal that I’m breaking my if-you-can’t-say-anything-nice rule to vent my hatred of it. Ever since it debuted last June, I’ve tried to put up with it, tried to work around its countless limitations and atrocious interface. But no more. I’m done.”

Broida writes, “What’s the problem with Podcasts? Ye gods, where do I start? Maybe with its very existence… I’m not alone in hating Podcasts: Nearly 4,000 reviewers in the App Store rated it 1.5 stars on average. That’s a pretty blistering indictment; even Find My Friends, another Apple app that’s taken its share of lumps, rates three stars. The good news is that unlike, say, Game Center and Weather, Podcasts can be deleted.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Well, there’s a lovely review. Microsoftian, in fact.

Heckuva job, Scottie!

39 Comments

    1. You must not be using this in the car. When one podcast episode ends and another starts it constantly looses the audio feed. To get the audio back I need to disconnect my iPhone and reconnect.

      That is just one problem on my list.

    2. It works for a very limited set of users. The skeuomorphism realism in that app is unreal and from a geek perspective, amazing.

      However, as a dedicated Podcasts app… it fails.

      What does it BRING to the table that the Music app did not?

  1. In not a frequent user of podcasts or the app, but I have used it a few times and I think it’s fine. Search for podcast, download it, tap on the episode to play. Am I missing something? What’s wrong with it?

    1. There’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with it, whereas Mr. Rick Broida… Well, let’s just say I’m sticking to my “if-you-can’t-say-anything-nice” rule.

  2. I LOVE the idea of the podcasts app. Only problem is that i doesn’t work for me half the time. Podcasts won’t update, ill be stuck in something 6 months ago and can’t even try to see the new ones. It sometimes automatically downloads them in wifi, and then it sometimes doesn’t. If it could just be better functioning I would dig.

    1. Kind of absurd argument to say ” no one is forcing you to use it” as an excuse for a mediocre to poorly functioning app.

      You are saying people should accept that from Apple, a company that prides itself on excellence? Because they choose to use Apple?

      I say nonsense, Apple should take note and improve it. They have customer expectations to exceed, if they want to keep and attract them. Apple needs people to choose it, without customers Apple is nothing.

      As to your “worked up” comment, 4000 people seam to have been worked up enough to give it 1.5 stars. I’d says that makes his criticism seem fair to me. It does suck, I agree and I didn’t bother rating it, I just deleted it.

  3. I am a big user of podcasts. I looked forward to a dedicated podcast app (and wish there was a Mac version too). Instead, Podcasts is a terrible app with numerous bugs, a terrible interface, ands no elegant way to view, discover or edit new podcasts.

    It really is a substandard app.

    1. Agreed, it’s dreadful. I’m as big an Apple fan as any but this and the maps app have both been terrible. I can’t understand why some people just can’t grow up and accept this, without making themselves look idiotic by defending substandard products. If you accept substandard products then you’re gonna get substandard products you thick gets!

      1. Whatever it is, it is stupid that I cannot move or remove it. I don’t use, don’t want to use it and it is using precious real estate. I use iBooks, it can be moved/ deleted. Why isn’t newsstand incorporated into ibooks for that matter? In fact newsstand is the ONLY thing pre-installed that I cannot organize. It makes zero sense, it irritates me greatly.

  4. Seems a shame that you have to use Podcasts when downloading directly onto a mobile device. Still prefer to just download in iTunes and just sync the devices.

  5. Apple has fixed some of the bugs, but people who think Podcasts.app is not frustrating clearly don’t listen to podcasts much. Here’s an infuriating bug that is NOT fixed by unsubscribing or any other troubleshooting step: Listen to a podcast. Pause that and do something else on your iPhone. Now, hit the play/pause toggle button on your Apple headphones. Randomly, instead of resuming playback of the podcast, it will start playing music from Music.app instead. WTF?!?
    Another annoying one: despite showing the download button next to podcast episodes that don’t meet the auto-download criteria, clicking them often (usually?) does nothing. They click, display as pressed, then release, but no download begins. Infuriating.

    Things like that are scattered about the app as if the damn thing was designed by Microsoft. Apple really dropped the ball on this app. I really hope they fix it. I like to stick to Apple apps wherever possible, but in some cases alternatives are a lot better. Still using Podcasts, but for calendar I’m using Fantastical. Apple’s Calendar is so much clunkier and slower-to-use.

    1. Yeah, experienced this issue as well and not just with Apple’s podcast app.

      This issue is really to do with iOS and not the podcast app itself. iOS always defers to it’s own built-in apps. For example iOS will always launch Safari for web addresses.

      Apple needs loosen the rains a little and allow users to define their own default apps. e.g. Set Google Chrome to launch for web addresses instead of Safari.

      I think once this happens, this issue will probably go away.

  6. Apple designed their app for the casual podcast listener and in this respect it works really well.

    If you listen to loads of podcasts or want more advanced features you’ll find plenty of other great podcasting apps in the App Store.

    In regards to the bad reviews, most of these are because early versions of the app were really buggy and it took Apple quite a while to fix all of the issues. The current app is far more stable and as a result the more recent reviews are very favourable.

    There are far worse apps than this. It’s just another anti-Apple article from CNET that’s designed to generate page views. DON’T click through and read the article.

  7. I’m not sure why Podcasts even still exist in the age of Youtube. Couldn’t (and shouldn’t?) anyone who is releasing serial podcasts do so on a Youtube channel instead?

  8. I seldom criticize Apple, but the CNET article is correct, the new Podcast app really does suck. As other commenters mentioned, the app has the odor of a Microsoft app with an inconsistent interface and too much effort into eye candy.

  9. Major flaw: if a podcast download errors-out, the app will just continue to try and download it. We went through 87gb in 36 hours before finding the offender: my son’s iPod.

    Really Apple?

    1. In reply to “Major flaw: if a podcast download errors-out, the app will just continue to try and download it. We went through 87gb in 36 hours before finding the offender: my son’s iPod…”

      This issue was fixed some time ago, update to the latest version of iOS and the app.

  10. I use the PodCasts app. It has evolved. At first there was a “downgrade” experience from the Music app. Then it got better, then a couple of annoyances, then fixes. And it’s solidly getting better, I like it a lot. I can manage my podcasts as I see fit. Play oldest to newest, newest to oldest, delete unwanted podcasts… And all of the files stay off my computer.

    It’s the best PodCasts app out there and on any Apple product.

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