While the recently-released iOS 6 beta 2 is only available to registered developers, it looks like Apple has decided to give all of us regular folk some new software to play with this week as well. The Cupertino firm just released a standalone podcast app in the App Store, which is appropriately dubbed "Podcasts." The app allows users to browse, subscribe to and play podcasts, both of the audio and video variety, and it's also possible to sync episode playback for switching between devices. The app is available for both the iPhone and iPad and requires iOS 5.1.
In the past, podcast playback has been handled by the Music app in iOS, while podcast could be downloaded using the iTunes app. It looks like Apple decided that podcasts needed their own app, though, and so that's exactly what we've gotten today. Users can flip between searching the iTunes catalog for new podcasts or accessing their own library, and there's also a "Top Stations" section to lists several different podcasts broken up by genre. Once a podcast is played, users can tap on the podcast artwork to see a skeuomorphic tape deck design along with options to scrub through the podcast, set a sleep timer and either speed up or slow down playback. While the Podcasts app likely won't be something that every iOS user installs on their iDevice, it looks like a nice bit of software for folks that do enjoy consuming podcasts. The download link is available below. What do all of you iOS folk think of the dedicated Podcasts app?