Overhauled Podcast App in iOS 11 to Bring Richer User Experience and Listener Analytics

Saturday June 10, 2017 2:25 AM PDT by Tim Hardwick

In a Friday session at the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple revealed some major updates to is native Podcasts app that will be coming in iOS 11. Some of the changes will affect podcast listeners, while others should make it easier for podcasters to learn more about their audience's listening habits.

As mentioned at Apple's WWDC Keynote earlier this week, the Podcasts app is getting an overhaul in iOS 11. Along with a new interface and better title handling, changes to the way Apple's podcast feed works should make for an improved experience for the end user, as Six Colors' Jason Snell explained in a blog post on Friday:

New extensions to Apple's podcast feed specification will allow podcasts to define individual seasons and explain whether an episode is a teaser, a full episode, or bonus content. These extensions will be read by the Podcast app and used to present a podcast in a richer way than the current, more linear, approach. (Since podcast feeds are just text, other podcast apps will be free to follow Apple's lead and also alter how they display podcasts based on these tags.)

Thanks to the new extensions, users will be able to download full seasons, and the Podcasts app will know if a podcast is supposed to be listened to in chronological order or if the most recent downloaded episode is the most relevant to the listener.

The other updates revealed on Friday are more relevant to podcasters. Notably, Apple is launching in-episode analytics, which will enable podcasters to discover how many people are listening to their episodes and where in the app listeners are stopping and skipping. The analytics will use anonymized data to ensure user privacy while allowing podcasters to know more about listening habits, like how many people skip ads, or how long a podcast runs before listeners lose interest.

The redesigned Podcasts app will come will iOS 11, which Apple is releasing in the fall. A public beta of the operating system is expected later this month.

(Thanks, Noah!)

Top Rated Comments

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37 months ago
The app itself isn't all that bad, but the lack of modern features like dynamic / smart audio playback and dynamic / smart volume is not good enough in 2017.

Apps like Pocket Casts and Overcast have huge benefits when compared to Apple's Podcast.app when they can dynamically remove slienced parts of a podcast and dynamically tune and normalize the audio. I don't understand why Apple doesn't include such features.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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37 months ago
The app seems like it’s made by someone that doesn’t listen to podcasts. It takes too many taps to play an episode (besides using 3D Touch)

The Listen Now only shows a couple recent episodes, the rest is “ads” for other podcasts.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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37 months ago
I use the Podcasts app every day. This change is long overdue and I'm excited!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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37 months ago
Why weren't these things there in the first place?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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37 months ago
I'd like to at least see them cut down on the battery it consumes. Somehow that app seems to blast through battery far faster than the music app. I never stream. I always download episodes. Simple audio playback should not take that much power.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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37 months ago

I use the Podcasts app every day. This change is long overdue and I'm excited!

me too :D I really hope they fix the download issue too
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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