How to use chapter markers in Apple’s Podcasts app

Apple Podcasts chapters - The Apple Podcasts app on iOS 12 finally features proper implementation of chapter markers that were in there before but left a lot to be desired

Chapter markers in podcast shows are not really new—Apple’s own Podcasts app has supported them for years—but iOS 12 makes that feature a lot easier to use.


  • Chapter markers were supported in the Podcasts app before iOS 12.
  • iOS 12 made using chapter markers a lot easier.
  • iOS 12 also brought back the icon which marks the current chapter.
  • To reveal chapters, swipe up on the Now Playing screen, then tap Chapters.
  • Not all shows come with embedded chapter markers.

If your favorite show came with embedded chapter markers, you can use them to instantly jump to a predefined content point in the Podcasts app or skip whole sections of a show without needing to skim through the entire episode blindly.

Apple giveth, Apple taketh away

The podcast file format has supported chapter markers for years.

Many third-party apps have supported chapters markers from their inception, but Apple’s software wouldn’t implement support for them until the September 2016 release of iOS 10.

Whereas older iOS versions did display chapter markers, functionality wasn’t really there because you couldn’t use them to jump to a desired section. Besides, Apple in its infinite wisdom removed a small purple icon that indicated the current chapter.

Thankfully, iOS 12 has brought back the indicator for the currently playing chapter.

How to use Apple Podcasts chapters

To jump to a chapter marker in Apple Podcasts, do the following:

1) Open the Podcasts app on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

2) Begin playing an episode you like.

3) On the Now Playing screen (tap the mini player at the bottom to open the Now Playing screen), swipe up to reveal hidden options at the bottom.

4) Tap the option Show next to Chapters, right below Episode Notes.

TIP: If you don’t see this option, the show does not include any chapter markers.

Apple Podcasts chapters - A screenshot showing accessing the embedded chapter markers by swiping up on the Now Playing screen in the Podcasts app on iOS 12

5) Tap a chapter from the list to instantly jump to that point in the podcast.

To help identify the currently playing chapter, the list of chapter markers presented in the app shows a purple equalizer animation on the right of the currently playing chapter.

Apple Podcasts chapters - The animated purple indicator tells you which chapter you're currently listening to

Purple equalizer marks your current chapter

Chapter markers usually feature descriptive names, as evidenced by the screenshot above.

This doesn’t just benefit listeners but creators as well because podcast chapters are usually indexed by search engines, which improves both SEO and discoverability.

How do you like enhanced chapter marker support in iOS 12’s Podcasts app?

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