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Overcast gains redesigned Apple Watch app with chapter skipping, speed controls, and more

Popular podcast app Overcast got a major update today that includes an all new Apple Watch app, improved compatibility with Siri, and other improvements. The headline of this release, labeled 2021.1, is undoubtedly the redesigned watchOS app. New watch apps are fairly rare these days, so it’s exciting when an existing one gains a big update. The new app is more streamlined and adds several features previously only available on your paired iPhone.

Older versions of the Overcast Apple Watch app had a paginated horizontally scrolling interface that surfaced all key features. The new version of Overcast introduces a single top level view with links to settings, now playing and your library of podcasts. There’s also a new sync button in the top left of the main screen to keep your local podcasts in sync with your iPhone.

Speaking of syncing, upon first launch your watch now has to sync with your iPhone. Just leave it alone, it could take a few seconds like it did for me. You might need to relaunch the app to finish syncing if you accidentally close it or put your wrist down.

As for new features, Overcast on the watch now includes speed controls and chapter skipping. These are two really nice features to have directly on the Watch itself now. You can access these two new features by tapping the button in the lower right corner of the now playing screen. If a podcast supports chapters, you’ll also see chapter skipping buttons below the speed meter.

In addition to these new features, there are also quality of life improvements like a more seamless interface for scrolling through shows and episodes of those shows.

The newest version of Overcast drops support for watchOS 6, which means users of Apple Watch Series 1 and Apple Watch Series 2 are now out of luck. This is a smart move, given those devices are both super underpowered and far behind when it comes to software updates. Users of those two models will need to use Apple’s own Podcasts app, find an alternative, or buy a new watch.

You can download the new version of Overcast from the App Store now. It’s currently rolling out to users.

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