Top 8 | Podcast Apps for Apple Watch

As popular site TechCrunch recently notes, the recent announcements regarding the new WatchOS has huge implications for both developers and the apps that they are creating. But there does appear to be even more benefit to one group of apps in particular: namely, those that allow you to access and manage your favorite podcasts. The main way that the second edition of the WatchOS does this is in its support for both audio recording and long form audio playback, which are two features that are sorely lacking when it comes to developing podcast apps for the Apple Watch at present. As such, this is probably why existing and very popular podcast apps still haven’t yet made the jump to the Apple Watch – and given this recent news, their hesitance has in many ways been justified. That doesn’t alter the fact however that there already a good bunch of podcast apps that allow you to access your favorite series on your wrist. We run through these below, and come up with a particular favorite.

4. HiCast (Free)

Hicast2

HiCast features a similar kind of interface to iCatcher, which we spoke of on the previous page, and is a fairly capable podcast app that does the basic things well enough. Looking though many of the apps we’ve tested on the Apple Watch in recent weeks, one feature that many have employed and which I love so much is the ring-shaped progress bar, which of course lends itself well to the smaller Watch screen but does take up some space. So yes, the use of this kind of progress bar by those behind HiCast earns it a few extra points, in my book. – Download from iTunes

3. Pod Wrangler (Free)

Podwrangler2

Another fairly basic podcast app that is worth checking out is Pod Wrangler, and part of the reason I liked this one is the sleep mode that comes as a default option. This is particularly useful for those that often fall asleep listening to their favorite podcasts, as I’ve been known to do from time to time! I also like the Up Next page, which is similar to the Unplayed menu in Instacast, giving you access at a glance to the different episodes that you currently have queued up – complete with a small thumbnail for each podcast, though annoyingly no brief description. – Download from iTunes

2. Overcast (Free)

Overcast

Overcast is another popular podcast that was recently updated to support the Apple Watch, with a handful of features such as Smart Speed, Voice Boost and Smarter Playlists that will be welcome aspects for podcast fans. Now, Overcast was designed by programmer and podcaster Marco Arment, who has admitted to – like many Watch developers – looking to create a scaled down version of the iPhone interface for the wearable update of his app. While this “seemed like a sensible adaptation”, he writes in a blog entry on the design change on his website, in practice the interface wasn’t quite as useful as originally intended. In the same blog entry, Arment goes on to detail changes he would make to the interface in order to improve it, making for some fascinating reading if you are an iOS developer or interface designer. – Download from iTunes

1. Network (Free)

Network

Those who have followed the site will know by now that I’m a huge fan of clean and uncluttered interfaces, and the same goes for the premise of specific apps. Minimalist games and apps are a particular favorite, and I don’t think that there has ever existed a podcasts app that is quite as minimal as Network, developed by Andrew Conlan. Now, this is another of those apps that I’ll admit to not having even heard of when just in its iPhone guise, but that’s part of the fun of creating these lists – it forces you to browse all available options, and allows you to discover things you hadn’t perhaps found before. For those who are looking for advanced functionality and different features, Network as a podcast app perhaps isn’t for you, but it will be right up the street of those who prefer their apps simple and clean and elegant. – Download from iTunes

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