Podcasts iPhone App
Some quick thoughts on the new Podcasts App for iPhone:
It’s extremely laggy on my iPhone 4. Sometimes when I click to download an episode from list within a podcast the app becomes unresponsive for over more than 5 seconds. For instance, when I’m in a list of episodes within a podcast, the list won’t scroll when I flick, and when I tap the ‘Podcasts’ or ‘Library’ button in the top left corner to go back to the previous list, it also won’t acknowledge my taps. I have to hit the Home button, and relaunch the app, at which point the app reflects whatever tap sequence I tried while it was frozen.
While the reel-to-reel is unnecessary, it doesn’t get in the way for me. I see it as designers at Apple having fun, and it’s clear a lot of work went into all the little details — watch the rocker arm wiggle when you hit the pause button.
The scrubber bar. What’s the deal with the needle thin red line you have to scrub the track with? Not only is it hard to see where you’re dragging, but it’s also another area with choppy responsiveness.
Elapsed/Remaining time labels – why is the type distorted? Look at the image above, It’s smushed. Nasty looking.
Radio dial interface for Top Stations. Again, I don’t mind the skeuomorphic dial they use, what I mind is how chuggy it is.
Update: While scrolling through Top Stations, the app froze, so I hit Home, but on every subsequent relaunch the app quit after a few seconds. The only way I could fix it was to delete the app and re-download it from the App Store. I like having a separate application for my podcasts. It’s particularly helpful when I’ve been listening to my music library on shuffle and then I decide to listen to a podcast.
Before, the Music app controlled playback of both music and podcasts, so there was no way for me to continue where I left off in my music shuffle playback. Now with two discreet apps, I can pick up where I left off on both music and podcasts.
Apple just really needs to resolve the performance issues in this app. I would like to think an application for audio download and playback doesn’t require a lot of processor power and/or system resources.