Apple last week released an update to its much-reviled Podcasts app, which brings a host of long-overdue features, including custom stations, iCloud syncing, and On-the-Go playlists. But perhaps most appreciated is the removal of one of Apple's signature pieces of skeuomorphism, the reel-to-reel tape machine. Clearly this is the work of Jony Ive, a known critic of the design style. When he was given free rein over Apple's human interfaces after Scott Forstall stepped down last October, we expected some changes would be made to iOS, which incorporates many of these type of real-world mimicry. But by dumping the tape deck — certainly one of the more intricate elements Apple has designed — it seems as though he's taking a stand, not just for Podcasts, but for all future versions of iOS.
It sure was a busy Thursday, with plenty of app updates, security changes and even a big riddle wrapped in an enigma when it comes to Google Now making it to iOS. We've managed to pick the scraps off the floor from yesterday's whirlwind announcements and have laid them all out for you nice and tidy-like to help ease you into the weekend...
There's freedom in producing a podcast. Every day, creative people are pumping out free content, including hilarious roundtable discussions or informative news programs. But the culture of podcasting is under attack from an altogether irritating source: the patent troll.
In this week's Free App Friday, we take a moment to salute the smallest pillar of the iTunes arsenal--the podcast. While an incredibly simple concept, the freedom of the Internet has assured that there's a show pretty much on every subject possible. Some shows inform us about the world at large, while some teach you how to build that shelf you've been putting off for quite some time, while others exist simply to entertain. If you're looking to jump in, there's simply no better choice than WTF with Marc Maron.
Well, it's not hard to see what the big story of the day is: OS X Mountain Lion is here, and despite some hiccups with Apple's Up-to-Date Program for new Mac owners, the launch appears to be a smashing success. (We gave up on waiting for our code and bought it -- hey Apple, we've got deadlines here!) Now that you've had a chance to comb through some of that Mountain Lion goodness, why not kick up your feet and take a break for a few minutes by perusing through our news recap for this Wednesday, July 25, 2012?
Apple's new Podcasts app is a testament to the tremendous evolution the medium has undergone since its humble iPod beginnings. Having long outgrown its iTunes tab, it was inevitable that Apple would develop a standalone app to mark the podcast's maturation into a legitimate form of entertainment. Expectedly, the universal app looks great, though it's not quite as functional or bug-free as desired.
It's the little things that keeps us coming back for more. Today, Apple released a Podcasts app that allows users to subscribe and listen to podcasts on any iOS device without having to delve deep into the Music app. Frequent podcast listeners will appreciate the ease of us, the large display tiles for each podcast, and the ability to discover new shows without launching iTunes. What's more: now you can just place the icon on the front page of your iPhone for instant podcast access!
Well, even though we're all about the Apple here, we have to recognize what the competition is up to and we are as shocked as anyone to say that Microsoft had what looks like a pretty good week. Windows Phone 8 software is out in the wild and the Metro interface is some of the best work Redmond's done in ages and it looks wicked sweet on the Surface. There were a few stumbles in the MS Keynote, so we'll see if the OS works as well as it looks. So what else happened?
Everyone seems to have an opinion on everything, and thanks to the proliferation of free podcasts, everyone can have an audience as well. Podcasts are one of the fastest-growing forms of media, with some of the more popular shows earning many hundreds of thousands of listens each week. Starting your own broadcast is easier than ever -- even if you don't have a studio to record at. With nothing more than your iOS device, the eight apps we've collected, and a bit of free time, you too can join the ranks of Podcasters. Now all you need is someone that will listen.