Not expected until the release of iOS 6, Apple has somewhat jumped the gun and released its all-new dedicated app for podcasts, aptly named Podcasts.
The new app acts in a similar fashion to iTunes, Newstand or the App store, and is a one-stop portal to access all of the video and audio podcasts on iTunes.
The free app is available for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, and will allow you to browse and search podcasts, which then can be streamed, downloaded or subscribe to directly from within the app.
Browsing the catalogue will take you to an iTunes Store-esque page where you can search for exactly what you want and also take your pick from the various genre charts.
Sticking to the traditional Apple design aesthetics, the app mimicks the look of a tape-deck – there’s the basic forward, back, and play/pause as well as buttons to skip forward 30 seconds or alternatively back 10 seconds.
If you tap the artwork you get a lovely animation of the tape deck playing the podcast, along with buttons to speed up or slow down playback, just in case you wonder what Ricky Gervais sounds like at double speed.
There’s also plenty of social sharing functionality, too – you’ll be able to share podcasts via range of channels – including email, twitter and iMessage.
Cleverly the app even syncs your current playback postion across your range of iOS devices – so if you start an episode of the Archers on your iPhone you can easily finish on your iPad.
The clever touches don’t just end there; another interesting new feature is podcast “stations” which cleverly allows you to organise your podcast library via genre and sub-genre.
There’s quite a few main genres, and many of them have sub-genres, each with five podcast selections underneath. If you’re new to podcasts, or just looking to find something that you’ve never listened to before, this feature should make discovery an even easier process.