Why I think Overcast is the best podcast app out there [Awesome Apps]


A great design and smart features are some of the reasons why I love Overcast.
A great design and smart features are some of the reasons why I love Overcast.
Screenshot: Joe White/Cult of Mac

This definitely isn’t the first time we’ve talked about Overcast here at Cult of Mac. But since I’ve been spending time rounding up my must-have apps as part of our Awesome Apps series, it makes sense to tell you why Marco Arment’s podcast client is the best podcast app out there.

It’s actually a great time to introduce anyone unfamiliar with Overcast to the app, since it recently received its biggest redesign ever. Part of this change includes a new home screen with some smart features. I love Overcast for a number of reasons, but the app’s home screen is probably chief among them.

Overcast: Best podcast app

First, you’ll notice that at the home screen, it’s possible to pin your favorite podcasts to the top of the app. I find that this makes it tons easier to keep track of the podcasts I care most about, even if I’ve got a big library of subscribed-to shows. New shows can be pinned (and unpinned) using a simple swipe gesture, so it’s easy to manage this selection quickly and easily.

Best podcast app: Which shows will you pin to the top of Overcast?
Which shows will you pin to the top of Overcast?
Screenshot: Joe White/Cult of Mac

It’s also great that Overcast highlights your recently played and new podcasts for easy access. Because of these features, finding the podcast you’re hoping to launch is usually just a couple of taps away.

Discovering and adding new shows is also a breeze. Tap the “+” icon in the top-right, and Overcast displays a selection of suggestions based on your listening habits and handful of most-starred episodes, alongside other podcasts grouped around other topics. Searching is easy, although it’s good to see an “Add URL” button for any podcasts that might be difficult to find.

Smart playback

My other favorite thing about Overcast is the podcast app’s playback. This includes two great features: Overcast’s “smart speed” (which detects periods of silence and removes them from the show, resulting in quicker delivery) and “voice boost” (which remasters audio, making speech easier to discern). I love that these settings can be tweaked on a show-by-show basis thanks to a “Custom For This Podcast” button.

On top of that, Overcast has a handy sleep timer I use all the time. This lets you configure the app to stop playback either after a set period of time, or once the end of the episode is reached. Finally, don’t forget to tap the “i” button during playback to see show notes and links – it’s a great addition that might be easy to overlook.

Nitpicky details

Best podcast app: You can fine-tune Overcast thanks to some comprehensive settings.
You can fine-tune Overcast thanks to some comprehensive settings.
Screenshot: Joe White/Cult of Mac

My last piece of advice for Overcast users would be to stop by the “Nitpicky Details” section in the app’s settings. There, it’s possible to customize some of Overcast’s finer details — like badge icons and CarPlay controls.

Overcast is a free download that’s supported by banner ads. These can be removed with a $10 annual payment – Overcast Premium also ships with support for file uploads and a custom icon.

Price: Free
Available from: iOS and iPadOS App Store

Awesome Apps is a Cult of Mac series highlighting the best apps around. We will feature our favorite apps as well as new and notable ones. Apps are transformative, and these are the best.


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