Instacast 2.0: The Best Gets Better

The most-used app on my iPhone just got a lot better.

Available today, Instacast 2.0 bring a myriad of new features (and better management tools) to the best podcast application out there for iOS.

The app is now $0.99, with a $1.99 in-app purchase that adds features like podcast-specific settings, smart playlists and push notifications for new episodes.

These features will be appreciated by “power users” who won’t have an issue shelling out another couple of bucks for them. That said, the app is perfectly usable without them.

Overall, the new version feels most polished and faster than previous builds.

Hidden behind the podcast player itself are some new controls, including:

  • AirPlay
  • Playback Speed (1/2x, 1.5x and 2x speeds)
  • Sleep Timer (5, 10, 15 or 60 minutes)
  • Continuous Playback
  • Sharing

Tapping the button in the upper-right hand corner brings up a panel with links and bookmarks. This view is white-on-black, unlike the view outside the player, which is the standard black-on-white. This view strips out any formatting the podcast produce includes with their links, making it easier to tap on just what you want.

I haven’t found for a need for the bookmarks feature, but it lives in this part of the UI, too.

Finally, Instacast 2.0 makes it easier to see how much space shows are taking up on your device. Right at the bottom of the Subscriptions and Playlists screens the app reports how much space its using.

I use Instacast all the time — at work, in my car and more. While I didn’t have any complaints before, the 2.0 update is really pretty great.