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Apple Podcast app goes live, with cryptic 'redeem' button

Apple's launched its own Podcast app that lets you explore popular 'casts, and sports a tape-deck style interface.

Apple's new Podcast app lets you explore and download podcasts, breaking the medium free from the music app, which didn't let you subscribe to new 'casts on your mobile.

Available now and free to download, the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch app organises your subscribed podcasts into lists, and displays popular podcasts in a coverflow-inspired grid, making it easier to find new things to watch and listen to.

In design terms, Apple's fondness for exploring retro styling is in full effect -- the top stations tab is designed to look like a radio tuner, and the player has a tape deck-look, right down to chunky buttons and a moving mechanical mechanism that evokes a more gentle age.

There are serious teething problems though -- I found the app crashing and refusing to open, and several times a podcast I hadn't tapped on started playing. Fingers crossed an update in the next day or so will settle things down.

The Next Web spotted a cryptic 'Redeem' button appearing inside the app too, which hints that paid-for podcasts could be en route. Best harvest all the free podcasts you can now, folks. I should note that although there are screenshots circulating, I can't find that Redeem button on my version of the app.

Apple has been steadily working to organise its downloadable goodies. Recently the Californian company put movies and TV shows into a separate Videos app, breaking those clips away from music. The Podcast app goes one stage further.

I think it's long overdue that podcasts received better treatment -- popular with many smart phone owners, it's good to see Apple giving magnificent digital broadcasts like the CNET UK podcast the recognition they so heartily deserve.

Will you be installing this app? What's your second favourite podcast? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.