Podcasts

Maps isn't the only disaster in iOS 6

October 4, 2012: 10:39 AM ET

Apple made one other big change that has displeased users.

FORTUNE -- If you thought Apple Maps was the only problem with iOS 6, think again.

There's another feature getting users riled up: the new Podcasts app. For years, podcasts were treated more like song tracks in Apple's (AAPL) popular mobile operating system. They resided in a separate section of the iPhone's iPod app. With the introduction earlier this year of a separate app, Apple singled them out the same way it did with a separate Videos app for video files like TV shows and movies.

That would be all well and good -- if the app worked as promised. But Podcasts has been roundly criticized in recent months over a lack of features and buggy performance. Some users complained the app no longer allows them to make playlists on-the-go; others highlighted the fact that mixed playlists -- combining podcasts and songs -- created on their computers don't remain intact when synced up with their mobile device.

MORE: Google's Street View returns to Apple's iPhone - sort of

The Podcast app has a lot going for it. New functions -- like the ability to subscribe to podcasts and download new episodes automatically -- make iDevices much more independent of iTunes. Untethering one's iPhone or iPad from the computer is a major step forward. But, in practice, there are plenty of problems. "Apple has bent over backward to make sure I can't create a playlist to listen to them in the order I want," wrote one user. "But they spent god knows how much time and money to make a reel-to-reel-tape recorder animation play in my pocket with nobody watching. Sheer genius!"

Even worse: users have complained of older podcasts not being recognized or gone missing, audio stopping (over and over), and slow performance on older compatible iPhone models. It's to the point where some resorted to uninstalling the app altogether. It also explains why even the latest software update for the app is poorly rated 1.5 out of 5 stars, with 2,457 users lobbing it a one-star rating. (Apple did not respond in time for comment.)

So while Maps deserves the early harsh criticism it's received, it's not the only iOS 6 app irking users for being at best, half-baked, and at worst, dysfunctional.

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