Apple is making a big push into original content for the iPhone with a significant upgrade to its Podcasts app on iOS 17. The company had previously announced plans to expand the Apple Podcasts platform and add new original programming to Apple Music and Apple News Plus. Now, these promises have been fulfilled with the release of a redesigned layout and new features.
The Apple Podcasts app redesign has been around since June when it was first released in beta. The new look features a more modern and colorful interface. The Now Playing screen now displays a blurry version of the podcast cover art, and the volume and playback progress slides adopt the same style as the Music app. The chapter lists also now display how much time is left until the next episode, making it easier for users to keep track of their progress. Additionally, search results can be filtered by top results, shows, episodes, and channels, making it easier to find specific content.
With the new upgrade, Apple is also expanding its original content offerings. Starting from September 26, subscribers to Apple Music, Apple News Plus, Calm, or Lingokids will gain access to over 60 original podcasts. These podcasts will cover a range of topics, including news briefs, radio shows, educational courses, guided meditations, and narrated articles. The narrated articles will be available through the Apple News Plus Narrated show, which will cover select articles from publications like GQ and The New Yorker. This original programming will be rolled out every week throughout the autumn.
In addition to the content expansion, Apple is also introducing connected subscriptions. With the new API for third-party companies, users will be able to integrate their favorite content apps with Apple Podcasts. This means that users can listen to their preferred shows without having to install another app. By connecting their subscriptions to Apple Podcasts, users can browse through a variety of shows across different devices, including their iPhones and Apple Watches. At first, only a few publications will support the connection, including the Wall Street Journal, Mamamia, and The Economist. However, other developers are also welcome to support the API.
This update is currently rolling out to all users. Users will need to be running iOS 17 to access the new features and connect their subscriptions to Apple Podcasts. Connecting subscriptions also requires iPadOS 17 or macOS Sonoma. With these updates, Apple is solidifying its position in the original content space and enhancing the user experience for podcast listeners.