THIS WEEK'S SPONSOR:

Kolide

An Endpoint Security Solution for Teams That Want to Meet Compliance Goals without Sacrificing Privacy


Instacast 1.4: This Is What iCloud Can Do

Instacast with iCloud

Instacast with iCloud

If you have a day job and had just started upgrading your iOS devices when you got home yesterday evening, it’s likely haven’t even spent a few hours with iCloud yet. The premise is pretty amazing, even if the initial majority of it is between iOS devices. If you think automatically syncing spreadsheets and documents across iCloud from your iPad to iPhone is cool, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Beyond document syncing, iCloud opens up a world of added convenience that wasn’t available previously. Just think about being able to sync your Angry Birds progress between devices. But we can take that even further. What if we could sync something like RSS feeds between devices? Now you’re thinkin’.

Instacast goes beyond simply syncing your lists of podcasts. It remembers to update which episodes you’ve marked as played, it remembers to add new podcasts you’ve subscribed to across devices, and it even remembers what episode you were listening to. The last item is the magical part: it syncs track position and loads that episode you were listening to in the now playing window if you pause the podcast and want to pick up from another device later. Resuming a podcast is as simple as tapping the up arrow after a refresh. Now this? This is amazinger.

This is one of the best use cases for iCloud. Instacast syncs lots of data to keep everything in sync. While there’s not much I can add beyond Martin’s blog post on Vemedio, the wow-factor can’t be emphasized enough.

With the amount of data being synced, there are some things to remember about Instacast’s iCloud sync. Geeks will immediately try, two devices in hand, to see how instant syncing is. If you don’t allow Instacast to get its data in the cloud, you may run into conflicts where your impatience could overwrite the changes you wanted to save. I imagine this is more true for big podcast libraries. You treat it like you treat Tweet Marker — it’s all designed to be very casual. With that said, syncing shouldn’t take five minutes, but I wouldn’t expect it to be split-second instant. A pull-to-refresh will sync changes down from iCloud while uploading takes place automatically.

Instacast 1.4 has a new audio engine inside for iOS 5 compatibility, bringing back scrolling titles on the lock screen (a bigger deal if you were an early iOS 5 adopter) and adding Apple TV support for AirPlay. If you want to get caught up on what Instacast does and how great it really is, check out our previous reviews.

You can read more about the 1.4 update on Vemedio, and download the update for free from the App Store (it’s only $1.99 for new customers).

Unlock More with Club MacStories

Founded in 2015, Club MacStories has delivered exclusive content every week for over six years.

In that time, members have enjoyed nearly 400 weekly and monthly newsletters packed with more of your favorite MacStories writing as well as Club-only podcasts, eBooks, discounts on apps, icons, and services. Join today, and you’ll get everything new that we publish every week, plus access to our entire archive of back issues and downloadable perks.

The Club expanded in 2021 with Club MacStories+ and Club Premier. Club MacStories+ members enjoy even more exclusive stories, a vibrant Discord community, a rotating roster of app discounts, and more. And, with Club Premier, you get everything we offer at every Club level plus an extended, ad-free version of our podcast AppStories that is delivered early each week in high-bitrate audio.

Choose the Club plan that’s right for you:

  • Club MacStories: Weekly and monthly newsletters via email and the web that are brimming with app collections, tips, automation workflows, longform writing, a Club-only podcast, periodic giveaways, and more;
  • Club MacStories+: Everything that Club MacStories offers, plus exclusive content like Federico’s Automation Academy and John’s Macintosh Desktop Experience, a powerful web app for searching and exploring over 6 years of content and creating custom RSS feeds of Club content, an active Discord community, and a rotating collection of discounts, and more;
  • Club Premier: Everything in from our other plans and AppStories+, an extended version of our flagship podcast that’s delivered early, ad-free, and in high-bitrate audio.