A plethora of announcements and new software capabilities to be unveiled at next week’s WWDC reportedly include a redesign for the Apple Podcasts app on the iPhone, iPad and Mac with new features for both creators and consumers.
Sources familiar with the update told 9to5Mac that the overhauled app includes a For You section with personalized recommendations, as well as user profiles so people could follow their friends if they’d like to see shows they’re enjoying. If you suspected that sounds an awful lot like the For You tab and profiles that area available on Apple Music, you’d be right:
The Podcasts app will learn about your personal preferences to suggest new podcasts available on the platform, making it more customized for each user. A new user profile should let you follow your friends on Apple Podcasts to see what they’re listening to.
Another feature lets creators add extra content to podcasts, similar to iTunes Extras content that’s available with some iTunes movie purchases on the Apple TV:
Another new feature expected to be included in the Podcasts app with iOS 14 is the option for podcast creators to offer bonus content to the audience, similar to what you get when you buy a movie in the Apple TV app. These bonus contents will be presented in the same feed as the podcast, but separate from regular episodes.
To be clear, the report describes these new features as coming to iOS 14’s version of Podcasts. Whether or not they get carried over to Podcasts for Mac remains to be seen, but that would indeed make sense given macOS Podcasts is now a Catalyst-powered app.
The software received its last major makeover three years ago.
Last year’s releases of the iOS 13 and macOS Catalina updates changed little in terms of the design for the Podcasts app, however, instead focusing on incremental improvements such as topic and people search within the audio to find new shows and episodes.
According to the iPhone maker’s own data published in January 2020, the Apple Podcasts catalog included more than 800,000 shows in 155 countries.