I’m : a programmer, writer, podcaster, geek, and coffee enthusiast.

Overcast 5.1 with Instant Search


The first thing someone does in a podcast app is add some podcasts, and most active Overcast users add at least two new podcasts each month.

Over 80% of podcasts are added to Overcast by searching, with the vast majority as searches for a specific podcast by name (rather than searching for generic keywords, such as “business”).

Good search is a critical, differentiating feature of any podcast app.

I’m not satisfied if the podcast you’re looking for is somewhere in the middle of a long list — I want it to be the first one, displayed quickly, after typing the fewest characters possible. I’ve been building toward this by analyzing years of popularity statistics and anonymous search data.

Instant Search is the next step in Overcast’s search evolution. It combines a small local cache with a highly optimized search service to give the most relevant results immediately as you type, even after only a single letter.1

It’s a dramatic, delightful improvement to a critical, frequently used feature. This was a lot of fun to build, and I’m proud of it.

See for yourself! Overcast is free on the App Store.

  1. If Instant Search isn’t instant right after you update, the cache hasn’t fully downloaded yet. It’s downloaded weekly, only on Wi-Fi, and is less than 5 MB. ↩︎