Apple has released version 1.2 of its standalone Podcasts app, adding design changes, new on-the-go playlists, custom stations that automatically update with new episodes, iCloud syncing, and more.

The design changes are definitely the most noticeable of the update, doing away with the somewhat gimmicky, skeuomorphic feel of the first two versions. The Now Playing view has been redesigned with easier to use playback controls, creating for a more fluid user interface.

The iCloud syncing that has been added is a much requested feature among heavy iTunes listeners. Podcasts that have been downloaded from the desktop version of iTunes will now stay up to date on all of your devices. Apple has also added custom stations for listeners that will allow them to automatically be seeded new episode versions. Users can choose whether stations begin playing from the newest or oldest unplayed episode.

Like the Music app, an On The Go playlist has been added in version 1.2 that will allow users to build a playlist with the episodes of their choosing. 

Apple says it has also included performance and stability improvements, including an issue of resuming playback when returning to the app. This 1.2 update is much needed, bringing it on-par with several other third-party podcast apps available on the App Store.

Podcasts 1.2 for iOS is now available for download from the App Store.