22 June 2015

9to5Mac: “Popular podcast app Instacast now discontinued”

Popular podcasting app Instacast for iOS and Mac is shutting down as the founders can no longer fund it or any of Vemedio’s other projects.

In an email sent to paid members, Martin Hering says that all of Vemedio’s products will be ‘discontinued’, with Instacast being the most well known app affected by this. The company says they will keep the servers up for as long as possible so current users will not be left with non-functional apps immediately.

Benjamin Mayo

I was surprised and annoyed by this news, since Instacast was my podcasts app of choice after the switch to iOS 8 crippled Podcasts. More so since only three weeks before they were happily launching their Apple Watch app. Why were they working on an Watch app if the company had no sustainable revenue and no long-term future?! That’s just bad management on their part.

Oh well, time to move on… I checked out Podcasts, just in case some of the minor iOS updates fixed its bugs, but no such luck, it still freezes after a couple of taps. While everyone praises Overcast, I can’t stand the use of bright orange and all caps in its user interface. I decided (probably too fast, in a hurry to transfer my unplayed episodes) to buy Castro. Coming from the same company that now runs Unread, my favorite RSS reader for iOS, I expected a similarly good app. No chance: Castro is so minimal it’s barely usable. All you can do is add new subscriptions and play individual episodes; there are no playlists or queues, no count for unplayed episodes; the interface is oversized, huge fonts carelessly wasting screen space with big headers and long descriptions that I don’t want to read before playing an episode; and of course no user customization. Right now I wish the App Store would offer trials for paid apps, because in that case I would have never spent a cent on this.

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