I’m into podcatchers for obvious reasons. Pocket Casts, the latest and greatest podcast app to hit the internet is sitting pretty at 5 stars on iTunes, but there are only 13 reviews in. I tried it out.Untitled

  • Episode filters
  • Sync and backup
  • Utilitarian UI
  • Auto download
  • Instant refresh
  • Customizable skip back and forward control
  • Sleep Timer
  • Auto purge of old shows
  • Social sharing

So nothing new there — pretty standard. I wanted to know when this thing went above and beyond. One of the cooler features I discovered was the native variable speed playback. A lot of people like to listen to their shows double time. You can get an hour-long show in in a 30-minute commute if you listen at a high rate of speed. This thing remembers your speed preferences for specific podcasts. So you can time your podcasting experience down to the second… and repeat.

The makers of Pocket Casts, Shift Jelly, claim this thing has the fastest refresh rate. “Nothing even comes close.”  And that’s great. But I wasn’t exactly watching my watch when I tried to update the latest shows on the other apps I’ve tried. They all refreshed pretty quickly. I didn’t really see a discernible difference between them, Pocket Casts included.

This app does integrate nicely with most mobile operating systems I imagine. On iOS 7, it functioned like a native app would when I installed it — completely responsive without a drop of awkward UI experience. I’ll keep using it for a week and give you my appraisal after the dust settles, but as of now, I’m moderately impressed.