Instacast 5: Idiosyncratic Interface Doesn't Work for Me Review

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Idiosyncratic Interface Doesn't Work for Me
The new interface in version 4, although visually appealing, simply doesn't work for me and I've had to switch to Pocket Casts. That's a shame because I loved the previous version and have invested in the Mac application. My normal use case, though, must simply be different from what the developer imagines. I listen to podcasts almost exclusively while driving on my commute. That environment places some significant constraints on the user interface, as the last thing I want to do is drive off the road or into another vehicle while I'm fiddling with a podcast app. An effective interface has a few simple requirements. 1. It must be possible to easily play an entire playlist. My primary podcast is the PBS News Hour, which is delivered daily in several small (about 5 minute) episodes. I need an app that will start playing the first episode and then continue playing remaining episodes. What I can't do is manually select each episode one after the other. That's too much time with eyes off the road, especially if the app times out and goes to lock screen, which can happen easily. What's not acceptable is having to unlock the screen, enter my passcode, find the next episode, play it, …, wreck car, etc. multiple times per drive. Instacast used to support this behavior quite nicely with it's continuous play mode, but it's been replaced in this version with an "up next" feature that's simply too complex and cumbersome to use, at least while driving. 2. I need big fat touch targets for common controls. In my case the common controls are skipping forward and back. With this version these controls are tiny, crammed together, and just simply too hard to tap reliably while driving. (Downcast has the same problem.) I don't have time to find a minuscule touch target while my eyes are off the road. 3. Although not nearly as important as 1 and 2, it would be nice to see the progress of an episode at a quick glance. With this version, though, the scrubber is so thin it's practically invisible at dashboard distance. I know it's an iOS thing, but that shouldn't trump usability (or, in my case, safety). Instacast has always had a bit of an quirky user interface, but in the past it was still functional. Sadly that is no longer true for me. In the interest of safety alone I've had to delete it from my iPhone.
StephenAT on Oct 24, 2013 for Instacast 5
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Great standalone client, sync simply doesn't work
This is a great standalone podcast client, but if you want sync look elsewhere. I've tried it out numerous times with successive releases and it's still not working for me. I've tried resetting my Mac and iPhone sync accounts with no luck getting them to sync up. I get it sync is hard. I want to use this app and the Mac version which I paid for as well, but until they can sync correctly I won't.
bigjim_ on Oct 22, 2013 for Instacast 5
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Crashes on startup now on my iPhone 5. No idea what went wrong. Been using it fine for a few months now... Please fix.
mike.greiling on Oct 22, 2013 for Instacast 5
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Nearly perfect
Sure, there is still the occasional bug, but the developer is great about pushing updates and eliminating those bugs. It is full-featured and, although I have tried many others, the one I keep coming back to. The only thing I really wish for is a "night mode" or option for a darker color scheme.
upworlder on Oct 20, 2013 for Instacast 5
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Instapaper support
Didn't the last version have this?
againes15 on Oct 20, 2013 for Instacast 5
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Sync and bugs seems to be fixed
I gave the previous release a single star review but this review seems to address most of the bugs. I had my subscription list on my iPad and iPhone (which was not syncing in the previous version) but after this release was installed opened the app and the app prompted me which to keep (resolved conflict) and I selected cloud version few seconds later it synced. now sync works great. Thank you for the developers, glad they look at reviews. I have been using since 2008, love it.
aillyas on Oct 19, 2013 for Instacast 5
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