Casually listen to your favorite podcasts with Castaway

If you’re new to podcasts and want to find something interesting, Castaway has a fairly good repository that you can peruse through. Just choose “Browse Directory” and then you can search by category or most popular on , or even by network. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, then there is the ability to search by title or author. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a way to manually add and subscribe to a show by pasting in a direct URL — maybe this can be added in the future, or perhaps this was done purposefully, after all, this feels like a casual podcast app that doesn’t need advanced features.

 

The main view in Castaway features two sections that offer four choices: My Podcasts and Browse Directory under “Podcasts” and Unplayed and Saved under “Episodes.” Underneath these sections is the option to go to the settings, where you can customize playback, automatic downloads, refresh on startup, and even export all of your subscriptions. If you are coming from another podcast app, such as Overcast, then you can export your shows from that app and choose Castaway in the extension sheet that pops up. I managed to import over 30 shows into Castaway without a hitch.

 

The interface for Castaway is fairly minimal and barebones compared to the competition. In fact, from a distance, Castaway doesn’t look like much, and one could even mistake it for a native Apple app if they didn’t look at it carefully. Castaway features a lot of white, with splashes of purple for contrast. The default Helvetica typeface makes things easy to read, and once you get some shows added in to the app, you’ll see that it’s organized well. Navigating around in Castaway is easy, and the app is fast and responsive.

 

Even though podcasts seem to have gone through a renaissance period lately thanks to shows like Serial, I’ve been a regular podcast listener for years. While it seems that most of the shows I listen to regularly are tech or game related, I like some comedy and storytelling every now and then. Over the years, my podcast app of choice has bounced around a bit, starting with Instacast, then Pocketcasts, and now Overcast, but I still don’t mind checking out new things that come along. Which is why I was intrigued when I saw Castaway hit the App Store. This may not be the podcast app for power users like myself, but it seems like a great option for casual listeners.

 

Castaway – Podcast Player ($2.99) by Philip Viso is a simple and clean app for managing your audio podcasts. If you want a podcast player that doesn’t make you commit to a show to tune in, then Castaway could be what you’re looking for. It is similar to other apps on the market like Overcast, Castro, Pocketcasts, and more.

The Best Time Management and Apps

Almost everyone has difficulty with time management–irrespective of who they are or what they do for a living. Even individuals who take pride in managing their lives like clockwork can be late, tend to forget goals and have problems with procrastination. A lot of things contribute to this. The main reason is that, thanks to smartphones and tablets, many of us have types of distractions at our disposal just begging for our attention. In this article we will show you how to take your iPhone or iPad and turn it from a tool of diversion into a tool of time management.

Instapaper is well worth exploring. Instapaper is an application that can be used not just on your smart phone or tablet but on your computer also. It’s a “read later” application that can save you a lot of time. During the day how many times do you encounter a bunch an article or a website that you really want to get into but don’t have the time to do so properly? How often have you thrown off your whole schedule by reading or taking a look at it anyway because you knew you will not remember it later? Instapaper can be integrated with Twitter and a number of other programs and save all of the links you want to explore for a later time. All the links get saved to one main account. This makes it easy to use any device you prefer (personal computer, tablet or phone) to catch up on those hyperlinks when you actually have the time for them.

Wunderlist is one of the better apps. It is a basic to-do list software but it is not bogged down by plenty of complex interfaces or graphics. Each day you can take a moment with this application and enter all of the things that you must do that day. It is free. Along with being easy to use, it’s easy to sync with a variety of devices. If you can train yourself to check your software as often as you check your email, you’ll find it much easier to keep yourself on task.

Evernote is very useful. It is a centralized location in which you can manage your random thoughts, your pics, your downloads, your emails, and so on. It syncs between devices (including your personal computer) and is easy to use with other apps, like Wunderlist. Unfortunately, this application is not no cost–which is its only true negative quality. You can pay $5 monthly for a monthly subscription or you can spend $45 and invest in a year’s worth of service.

Agenda is the must have calendar program. This is true for all types of different reasons but the primary reason you need this is you could sync it both to iCalendar (the calendar Macs and Apple products use) and Google calendar. This makes the management of your calendar easier, especially for those with PCs and iPhones since they only have to key in their information into a single, centralized location and it can be accessed on several other devices. Additionally, it is really pretty.

There are many different time management tools that can be used. These are the best of them but some research will generate lots of others.

Edwin Basko

The Apple Mac Specialist and author