covered, the popular podcast player from developer Marco Arment, received a major new update today with a design overhaul and new features. Arment describes this as “part one” of the Overcast redesign he’s been working on, this time focusing on the home screen, playlist screen, typography and spacing. .
You will see the new design immediately when you first open the app after the update. Overcast’s home screen now features a much more modern design, emphasizing new colors, rounded corners, and customization. Arment describes it as the “biggest overhaul” in Overcast’s nearly eight-year history.
The Overcast home screen features your playlists at the top, which are now fully customizable in terms of colors and icons. Below, you’ll find a new section for recently played and recently released podcast episodes.
Overcast also offers a new way to view podcasts in your library, with three different options. Arment explained this change in a blog post detailing today’s update:
I also redesigned the old stacked “Podcasts” and “Played Podcasts” sections to better meet people’s needs and expectations. Now the toggle above the podcast list toggles between three modes: podcasts with current episodes, all watched podcasts, and inactive podcasts (the ones you don’t follow and therefore won’t get any more updates from). episodes, or of which you have not published a new episode for a long time).
Overcast also adds a number of new features with today’s update. More importantly, this includes a new Mark as Played feature. You’ll now find a tick button on the episode rows and a swipe action on the left side, both of which allow you to quickly mark an episode as played.
Other new features in this update:
- The second most requested feature is a way to view all favorite episodes. Special playlists for Favorites, Downloaded and In Progress can now be created.
- Light and dark themes now each have a customizable tint color from the modern iOS UI color palette.
- Background notifications and downloads are now much more reliable.
- Episode downloads can now be deleted or re-downloaded individually.
- Links can now be opened in Safari (under Nitpicky Details).
- Performance is now significantly better with very large playlists and collections.
- Fixed bugs with episode duration detection, CarPlay listings, Mac app sharing and more. There’s so much better in this update that I can’t even remember it all.
The 9to5Mac take
As someone who uses Overcast every day, many hours a day, I find this new design to be the perfect combination of being familiar and being a fresh take on that familiarity. The new home screen design feels much more personal with this update, thanks to playlist customization options and the ability to fine-tune pinned podcasts.
I’m also very happy to see that this update goes beyond a visual overhaul, with a really nice collection of new features as well. Added features like Mark as Read and other smart playlist options will be useful additions for any experienced podcast user.
Arment describes this as the “first part” of his ongoing, larger overhaul of Overcast. I’m excited to see what’s next, where the focus will be on “currently playing and individual podcast screens”. The app was due for a fresh coat of paint, and so far the new design has proven to be worth the wait.
covered is available on the App Store for free download. There is an optional $9.99 per year in-app subscription to remove ads. The app works on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac Apple Silicon.
Overcast is my podcast player of choice for iOS, and we have more details in our full overview of podcast players for iOS here.