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.
What makes Downcast’s new feature great is that you don’t have to think about it. Sure, having it check for updates every hour is fine – if the app is open at the time. Otherwise you’ll be left with nothing to listen to when you fire the app up.
Now, you can tell it to check for new episodes in the places that you know you’ll have great bandwidth. I have mine set to check when I get home, and it works great. When I near my apartment, I hear my iPad beep with the familiar Downcast alerts, and by the time I have made it up the five flights of stairs to my front door, everything is ready to go.
You can also pick to have the app update when you leave a location, but I’d probably leave this option off unless I had an unlimited 3G data plan.
For anyone who already has Downcast, the update is of course free. New users can pay just $2.