Here's What's New in the iOS 17 Podcasts App

Apple in iOS 17 has revised several elements of its stock apps, including the Podcasts app. There are a few noteworthy changes to the functionality and design of the app with the update, as detailed below.

podcasts app ios 17
The biggest change is a slick new design for the Now Playing screen, which allows the podcast's full show page art – or any episode chapter images – to take over the entire screen.

The playback controls on the bottom half of the screen have also been rejigged. The play speed button has been moved from the bottom left corner of the screen and now sits next to the rewind button.

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Podcasts app in iOS 16 (left) versus iOS 17

The sleep timer button has also been moved from the bottom right corner and is now located next to the fast-forward button, so the main bank of controls is more compact with five buttons in the row instead of just rewind, play, and fast-forward. Some buttons also now take on a neat new glow when activated.

The queue interface has changed, too. Whereas previously you swiped up to see if anything was in the Playing Next list, now there's a dedicated queue button at the bottom next to the AirPlay icon.

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Podcasts app in iOS 16 (left) versus iOS 17

Pressing it brings up a whole new screen showing any queued episodes as a list. You can swipe to remove an episode from the queue or clear the list, and if there are no episodes up next it will tell you that nothing is queued.

The Up Next carousel at the top of the Listen Now screen features redesigned cards that add a color shade to go with the podcast's art, and they feature a new three-dot options menu icon, a new compact playback indicator that shows if you have started a podcast but not finished it, as well as the episode's length.

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Podcasts app in iOS 16 (left) versus iOS 17

The same indicator can also be found in the Up Next screen, where the "Play Next" and "Play Last" options have been replaced with "Add to Queue."

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Podcasts app in iOS 16 (left) versus iOS 17

In iOS 16, if you've completed an episode in a podcast's episodes list, it just says "Played" below the episode summary. In iOS 17, that's been replaced by a replay icon and the episode length. A checkmark now also sits next to the date above the episode title, indicating that you've listened to it.

Related Roundups: iOS 17, iPadOS 17
Related Forums: iOS 17, iPadOS 17

Top Rated Comments

japanime Avatar
12 months ago
So, they moved everything around to make it a shiny new kind of confusing.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ugahairydawgs Avatar
12 months ago

How is the syncing? I’m not too pleased with their current general release version as it doesn’t sync across devices like I think it should. The queues aren’t synched which means device to device, I’m not able to use the same play list.
Lines up with the poor syncing in Apple Books and the Want to Read list. Don't get why something basic like syncing in these two apps is so difficult for Apple when the syncing in most of their other apps is pretty rock solid (in my experience).
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Reason077 Avatar
12 months ago
Podcast makers will likely be pleased with the increased "branding" on the play screen, but I don't really like the reduced contrast of the controls. The "swipe down" bar to close the "now playing" screen is almost invisible in the screenshot above, for example.

Also, hopefully the slight UI rearrangement makes the "play speed" (1x 1.25x etc) button less easy to press accidentally? The number of times I've wondered why everyone's voice sounds funny because it accidentally got tapped either on my watch or phone screen...
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wanha Avatar
12 months ago
Overcast is the way to go when it comes to podcasts on Apple devices
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jfim88 Avatar
12 months ago
Pocket Casts is my way to go
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kenny7 Avatar
12 months ago
The new UI is a mess. Podcast chapters are hidden away and need so many clicks to change chapters.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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