A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Podcasts gives kids a way to access the vast selection of free podcasts available through iTunes. As a result, you'll definitely want to monitor the categories your kids choose podcasts from and, in many cases, preview the content before allowing them to listen. However, there are some great, kid-friendly podcasts out there, and once you find the ones you trust, you can subscribe to and opt to automatically download the latest episodes, making it easier for kids to find new, appropriate podcasts to enjoy.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
PODCASTS helps give kids access to all the free podcasts iTunes has to offer. They can choose to download individual podcasts or subscribe to a series to keep up on all the latest episodes. To find the podcasts that interest them most, kids can search for a particular podcast by name or browse all the available podcasts by keyword or category. The available categories cover a range of subject areas and age groups, with the Education and Kids & Family categories offering the most kid-friendly podcasts. All the categories organize podcasts by both audio and video podcast series. Clicking on a series brings up a list of the podcasts available for download and the option to subscribe to the series. Once kids have selected episodes to download or series to subscribe to, those podcasts appear on the My Podcasts page, where they can organize their podcasts and customize the settings to change features such as whether to automatically download the latest episodes or delete played episodes. A My Stations page also allows users to organize their favorite podcasts into stations so they can listen to multiple episodes in sequence or make it easier to access key podcasts using other Apple devices and software. When it comes to actually playing a podcast, kids can use Siri to bring up a podcast by name or by asking Siri to play a particular station, or they can play a particular station or episode directly in the Podcasts app.
Is it any good?
The huge selection of podcasts available to browse is both the best and worst thing about this app. Kids should get a kick out of the old-school radio-show style of most audio podcasts; although the format is retro, the content can be very modern. Unfortunately, finding quality podcasts on a particular topic takes some time. Yeah, kids can simply search for a particular word or browse the categories, but they'll come up with a wealth of podcasts -- some that will fit the bill and others that will contain inappropriate or simply low-quality content. However, once kids find some of their favorite podcasts, they'll enjoy downloading and listening to the latest episodes. A handy settings feature allows them to determine how many episodes to have available at a given time, whether to automatically download new episodes, and whether to keep played episodes, which helps control the amount of memory the app uses. Note that without careful management of these settings, kids could quickly find themselves with a large amount of memory taken up on their devices.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Language & Reading: speaking, storytelling
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: investigation, thinking critically
Communication: listening, multiple forms of expression
Tech Skills: evaluating media messages
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: May 29, 2014
- Category: Education
- Size: 13.80 MB
- Publisher: Apple
- Version: 2.1.2
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later
For kids who love learning with apps
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.