Dale Dietrich
friedman: always supply your comparative advantage
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Category — iPad

Apple’s New ‘Podcasts’ App a Disappointment

Categories: iPadiPhonemobile appssoftware
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imageYears have passed with no significant changes made to the podcast functionality built into the iTunes (now Music) app.  As a daily consumer of podcasts, I had high hopes for Apple’s newly released (June 26, 2012) ‘Podcasts’ app.

While some improvements were made – namely the ability to directly subscribe to podcasts from within the app – for several reasons, I will remain loyal to Downcast:

  • Direct Updates, But No Wi-Fi-Only Updates: The most important new feature of Apple’s new ‘Podcasts’ app is its ability to directly subscribe to podcasts from within the app without the need to physically connect the iPhone/iPod to a computer. Inexplicably, Apple provides no setting to limit such updates when connected to Wi-Fi only. Without this feature, Podcasts users will quickly see their monthly bandwidth allotments eaten up by podcasts downloads. This is a major fail!
  • 30 Second Skip & Instant Replay, But No Ear-bud Control: Finally Apple built-in the ability to skip forward 30 seconds. Instant replay has been built-in for years. But, surprisingly, you cannot trigger this functionality with the ear-bud controls. I listen to hours of podcasts every day through my ear-buds. While walking dogs, carrying a baby or out in the winter, I do not want to have to reach into my pockets every few minutes to skip forward or rewind a podcast. And there is no Siri control of podcast playback either.  Grrr!

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Flipboard’s Twitter Integration Makes it a Game Changer

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flipboard

I’ve been waiting patiently for my Flipboard invite since its launch last week. I received my invite earlier today and have been playing with it ever since.

The generic Flipboard interface is nice, but, for me, its killer feature is its Twitter integration. I feel almost as excited about Flipboard as Robert Scoble Smile.

At the moment I follow 74 terrific Twitter users. About 75% of their tweets contain links to interesting articles on topics dear to my heart. Flipboard turns this curated feed of news stories and blog posts into a beautifully personalized eZine. As I flip through Flipboard, instead of links to the stories in my Twitter feed, the first few paragraphs and accompanying picture from most of those linked stories are attractively and interactively displayed on my iPad. If I want to read the full story, I tap it and am instantly taken to the underlying story on its originating website.  Another tap and I’m back to my Flipboard eZine. See the demo below:

Twitter integration is the raison d’etre for Flipboard

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