While Apple’s latest iOS 6 beta didn’t make any significant changes to the platform’s front-end — aside from removing the YouTube app — it did make some changes under the hood. In addition to “bug fixes,” it appears the fourth beta has made some improvements to App Store download times that make updating your apps super snappy.
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Downcast, my favorite podcatching app, has added a rather handy new feature with its latest update. Now it can automatically check for new podcasts when you arrive in a certain location. This clever use of iOS’ geofencing tech was first used by Instagram to grab unread articles, but now works for podcasts, too.
It didn’t take long for OS X Mountain Lion to hit the top of the Mac App Store’s paid chart following its release yesterday, which means Apple shifted a heck of a lot of copies on day one. In fact, it sold so many copies that traffic from the Cupertino company’s servers was up to six times higher than normal.
The Podcasts app, released by Apple last month, is a thing of potential beauty. I’ve already returned to a state of podcast listening due to the app, which lets me find and focus solely on the podcast content I need, without all the kludgy hassle of syncing and downloading.
Notice I said “potential” beauty. The app is really not ready for prime time, with freezes, crashes and a dearth of sync between, for example, an iPhone and an iPad. That’s set to change later today, according to “sources” mentioned at AllThingsD, with an update to the Podcasts app that should fix these issues, at least.
Apple’s new Podcasts app, with its skeuomorphic tape reels and beautiful interface, is an absolutely brilliant way to discover, manage, and listen to podcasts. And on our newest CultCast, we’ll tell you how Apple’s new gem will finally bring podcast entertainment out of the shadows and into the hands of the masses.
And then, did you know Google just released their beloved Chrome browser for iOS? We’ll tell you what we think and if it’s going to give Safari a run for its money.
Remember when someone in the Apple camp let their censoring powers go to their head back in May, and they began censoring the word “jailbreak” across music, movies, apps, and podcasts? It didn’t take the Cupertino company too long to backtrack, and it removed the censor almost entirely just hours later.
I say almost before for podcasts, the word was still considered an expletive — until this morning, when Apple removed the censor completely. Finally.
Apple is said to be preparing an iTunes overhaul that will deliver the largest change the online music store has seen since its debut back in 2003. Set to be unveiled by the end of this year, the refresh will reportedly bring better iCloud integration and file-storage for users with multiple iOS devices, as well as new features for sharing music with friends.
It’s no secret that the designers at Apple are fans of Braun. Jonathan Ive has even expressed at times that his work is influenced by Dieter Rams, Braun’s head designer for nearly 30 years. In the past, Braun products have inspired the designs for several Apple products and applications, such as the iMac G4, Mac Pro, iPod, Aluminum iMac, iPod Hi-Fi, iPhone OS 1 Calculator, and most recently, the iOS 5 iPad music app.
With the release of Apple’s Podcasts app for iOS, the legacy of Braun continues to live on in the form of the reel-to-reel tape recorder found in the now playing interface. Looking at the interface last night, I was struck by how realistic the design was, which prompted some Google searching, leading me to the conclusion that indeed, the Podcasts app houses a nearly accurate rendering of a Braun TG 60 tape recorder. Ben Lenarts also noted the same thing on Twitter this morning.
To show you some of the striking similarities between these two designs, we’ve compiled a gallery of the two, which you can find after the break.
With the release of Apple’s own dedicated Podcasts app today, it’s clear that Apple is finally taking Podcasts seriously. When podcasts were first brought to iTunes in 2005, Apple made a strong push to promote what they felt was the future of broadcasting. Apple’s own Eddy Cue even said at the time: “We really think podcasting is the next generation of radio.”
Unfortunately, as time marched on, podcasts were pushed to the side and left pretty much unattended. iOS has always had minimal support for podcasts, and even iTunes itself offers no real compelling way to manage your subscriptions. What makes today’s announcement big is that it marks a new, renewed effort on Apple’s part to make podcasts a key part of their iTunes ecosystem.
I can imagine that the reaction you get from mentioning the word “jailbreak” within the Apple camp in Cupertino is almost identical to that you get when mentioning the word “bomb” on an airplane. In fact, Apple hates the word so much that it considers it an expletive, and it’s now filtering it from the iTunes Store.