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Mobile app of the day: Overcast

Podcasts are one of the great undiscovered plus points of having a smartphone. While they have many fans, huge numbers of us have never even tried them. Perhaps that's in part because of a misconception that podcasts are a bit nerdy. Try Overcast and you'll knock that theory on the head, not least because of some of the rather fine features that are locked away in the free version, but become available if you stump up £2.99.

Of course Overcast does all the usual things such as let you search and browse for podcasts, create playlists, and decide how many podcasts you want to keep, in terms of those you haven't listened to, for each feed you subscribe to. That is vital if handset space is at a premium or if you don't want to feel overloaded.

But beyond these there are some really neat extras. There is a sleep timer so you can listen to a podcast while you nod off. I really like the ability to adjust playback speed so that you can whizz through podcasts which are a bit ponderous, and a feature called Smart Speed which cleverly shortens the silences in talk shows. Voice Boost is also potentially really useful – it normalises the volume so that quieter and louder elements are evened out.

Click here to download Overcast for iPhone.

Product: Overcast


Price: Free (£2.99 for all features)