App-a-Day: Overcast

Monday 4-27-2015

Hello world! This is Andy from Hanhai Studio and today I’m kicking off a new micro-blog series that features one new or interesting app each day. As a student of intuitive design practices, it really makes my day when I discover a new app that’s not only useful but also beautifully designed. I have to say that over time, I've been exposed to a ton of beautiful and innovative apps that have literally changed that way I live my life.  

Since this is the first post, I’m going to start out with an app that I use every day. In fact, it’s usually the first app I use every day.. Why? Because like most Angelenos, my day begins with the good ol’ morning rush-hour commute.

That’s why I really love Overcast, a podcasting app that’s deliberately designed with commuters in mind. The interface is simple yet very efficient, a sign that Overcast truly understands who their users are and how they behave. The nifty 10s forward and rewind buttons especially come in handy when skipping through ads and unlike SoundCloud (another great app that I use daily), Overcast downloads the whole podcast into your phone instead of streaming it so you don’t lose your place when you close the app and can continue to listen right where you left off. This is one of the main frustrations I run into with SoundCloud. (Which I’ll get into more when I feature SoundCloud in a later post)

Another thing that’s great about Overcast is that it has tons of content. For me, I listen to the podcast “How to Start a Start-Up” every day on my way to work. The conversations there are truly quite insightful and it’s great because I know the time spent driving to work was not wasted. I feel that it’s important to be aware of what’s going on around the world and podcasts like “How to Start a Start-Up”, among others, act like a window to that outside world, updating me on what’s happening in and around the start-up space. Of course there’s lots of other great channels out there, whether you’re interested in sports, technology, or fashion.. there’s probably a really cool podcast out there that you’ll be able to find on Overcast.

So to summarize: If you find yourself sitting in your car a lot and have the desire to learn something new or be entertained/enlightened during your trek from A to B, then download Overcast and search for topics that interest you. It’s a nifty little tool that has to potential to turn that boring, monotonous daily commute into an interesting and insightful journey.