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iOS 16.4, iPadOS 16.4, and macOS 13.3 were released today with several new features for Apple's Podcasts app across the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and CarPlay.

Apple-Podcasts-iOS-16-4.jpg

First, a new Channels menu in the Podcasts app provides a list of podcast channels all in one place on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. A channel allows a creator or brand to list all of their podcasts in one place for listeners to easily discover.

Second, the Up Next queue now includes episodes listeners have saved to their Library and episodes that they play from shows they do not follow:
For example, when a listener plays an episode of a show before deciding to follow it, that episode will now remain in Up Next until the listener finishes it, marks it as played, or removes it. New episodes from followed shows and recently saved episodes will appear at the top of the Up Next queue while episodes that listeners have started and older saved episodes will appear toward the end. The latest episodes from recently followed shows appear at the start of Up Next. Also, episodes categorized with a "bonus" episode type will appear in Up Next.
Users also have more tools to manage Up Next. For example, they can touch and hold a show's artwork to remove it from the queue.

Third, users are now able to view how many unplayed episodes are available for them at the top of each show page, identify "early access" subscriber episodes that are made available to them as part of their Apple Podcasts subscriptions, and more.

Apple-Podcasts-CarPlay-iOS-16-4.jpg

Fourth, iOS 16.4 includes Podcasts app improvements for CarPlay, including access to the Up Next and Recently Played queues from Listen Now in CarPlay. And in the Browse tab, there are now editorially curated podcast recommendations.

More details can be found in the "What's new for Apple Podcasts" post on Apple's website.

Article Link: iOS 16.4 Includes New Apple Podcasts App Features Across iPhone and CarPlay
 
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sjsharksfan12

macrumors 68000
Jun 29, 2020
1,901
2,405
San Jose, CA
If the Podcasts feature had customizable playback speeds and a trim silence feature I would probably use that. Right now I'm using Pocketcasts which suits my needs. Also on the Podcast app, I would love to be able to sort reviews again.
 
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xxray

macrumors 68040
Jul 27, 2013
3,080
9,327
Always great to have improvements. There’s one simple improvement I wish Apple’s Podcasts app had that Spotify has. When you go to a show that you’re following’s list of episodes, I wish it would take you to the episode you last were listening to.

For podcasts that have had hundreds of episodes and that still have hundreds of episodes before I’m caught up, I have to go scrolling, scrolling, scrolling just to find the last episode I just listened to so I can find the next episode that was released to either play it now or save it to my saved podcasts list.

It’s so inefficient, cumbersome, and not user friendly. This feels like a perfect example of it seeming like Apple designers/developers don’t actually use their services apps.
 

cmartinez

macrumors newbie
Jan 12, 2007
7
10
Always great to have improvements. There’s one simple improvement I wish Apple’s Podcasts app had that Spotify has. When you go to a show that you’re following’s list of episodes, I wish it would take you to the episode you last were listening to.

For podcasts that have had hundreds of episodes and that still have hundreds of episodes before I’m caught up, I have to go scrolling, scrolling, scrolling just to find the last episode I just listened to so I can find the next episode that was released to either play it now or save it to my saved podcasts list.

It’s so inefficient, cumbersome, and not user friendly. This feels like a perfect example of it seeming like Apple designers/developers don’t actually use their services apps.
Yes, we should be able to follow the podcasts in sequence and not simply have the newest one listed first.
 

msackey

macrumors 68030
Oct 8, 2020
2,535
2,949
I have not liked how Podcast syncs across the Apple platform. I cannot easily start listening on my iPhone and then finish listening on my iPad or Mac. Yes, I can use handoff, but that's not what I want. Often when I'm using the iPhone Podcast, I may put it down after I've arrived in my office, then a few hours later, open up Podcast app on my iPad to continue listening to the episode wherever I left off. Can't do that easily because this doesn't sync. To have this do it more automatically, I have to return to the episode on my iPhone, play the episode, and while the screen is still on, go to my iPad to click on the continuity icon for the Podcast. Dumb.

Just sync the darn thing totally across all devices, from timepoints to episodes played and playing.
 

xpxp2002

macrumors 65816
May 3, 2016
1,172
2,782
I have not liked how Podcast syncs across the Apple platform. I cannot easily start listening on my iPhone and then finish listening on my iPad or Mac. Yes, I can use handoff, but that's not what I want. Often when I'm using the iPhone Podcast, I may put it down after I've arrived in my office, then a few hours later, open up Podcast app on my iPad to continue listening to the episode wherever I left off. Can't do that easily because this doesn't sync. To have this do it more automatically, I have to return to the episode on my iPhone, play the episode, and while the screen is still on, go to my iPad to click on the continuity icon for the Podcast. Dumb.

Just sync the darn thing totally across all devices, from timepoints to episodes played and playing.
It does sync. It's just very slow. I've had it take days to sync on its own and accidentally lost my place countless times because of how poor the sync is in Podcasts.
 

msackey

macrumors 68030
Oct 8, 2020
2,535
2,949
It does sync. It's just very slow. I've had it take days to sync on its own and accidentally lost my place countless times because of how poor the sync is in Podcasts.
I know Podcast syncs. It sycns on mine too. But it doesn't fully sync in the sense that, for example, if I'm listening to ABCD on my iPhone, I can't just go to my iPad and expect it to both sync and show that I am listening to ABCD and take me to the right timepoint. It doesn't do that as far as I can tell, even if I just wait for it to update. It does update, for example, what podcasts am I following, which ones have recently played, and the like.

Also, what's up with "Up Next" and the actual list of what will play next. I don't get why there are those two distinctions. Up Next and what will actually play next should be the same list!

The Podcast system is nutty. The only reason I use it is because it is a common app across all my Apple devices and does mostly sync, even if not fully.
 
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xpxp2002

macrumors 65816
May 3, 2016
1,172
2,782
But it doesn't fully sync in the sense that, for example, if I'm listening to ABCD on my iPhone, I can't just go to my iPad and expect it to both sync and show that I am listening to ABCD and take me to the right timepoint.
But that's what I'm saying. It does do that, it just doesn't do it in a consistent or timely manner.

Sometimes it does. It'll show you exactly where you left off and you just tap on it to continue playing on another device.

Sometimes it does after waiting hours and opening/closing the Podcasts app on both devices once or twice.

Sometimes it doesn't sync for days, for no apparent reason, even if you have opened and closed the Podcasts app.
 
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msackey

macrumors 68030
Oct 8, 2020
2,535
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But that's what I'm saying. It does do that, it just doesn't do it in a consistent or timely manner.

Sometimes it does. It'll show you exactly where you left off and you just tap on it to continue playing on another device.

Sometimes it does after waiting hours and opening/closing the Podcasts app on both devices once or twice.

Sometimes it doesn't sync for days, for no apparent reason, even if you have opened and closed the Podcasts app.
Ok, I've never have that happen before.

The only way I can automatically continue from one device to the other is using the Hand Off (Continuity) feature, which isn't syncing. Good to know it somewhat works for you.

I'm sure you know what Hand Off is, right? It's not syncing: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT209455
 
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dbwie

macrumors 6502a
Jun 11, 2007
619
284
Albuquerque, NM, USA
The podcast app on the Apple TV seems orphaned. Mine is perpetually out of sync with the podcast app on my other devices, even though all are logged into the same iCloud account.
 
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xpxp2002

macrumors 65816
May 3, 2016
1,172
2,782
Ok, I've never have that happen before.

The only way I can automatically continue from one device to the other is using the Hand Off (Continuity) feature, which isn't syncing. Good to know it somewhat works for you.

I'm sure you know what Hand Off is, right? It's not syncing: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT209455
Yep. I know what you mean. I've used handoff for Podcast playback before, too.

But if it's working correctly, you should see your paused progress on every device where you're signed into iCloud. This is on my iPad, for example. I only listened to this episode from my iPhone, but it shows the progress here and if I tap on that it will continue where I left off. My complaint is that this type of sync often doesn't update between devices -- but it is supposed to.

1676580243377.png
 

msackey

macrumors 68030
Oct 8, 2020
2,535
2,949
Yep. I know what you mean. I've used handoff for Podcast playback before, too.

But if it's working correctly, you should see your paused progress on every device where you're signed into iCloud. This is on my iPad, for example. I only listened to this episode from my iPhone, but it shows the progress here and if I tap on that it will continue where I left off. My complaint is that this type of sync often doesn't update between devices -- but it is supposed to.

Good to know! At least it's supposed to work. It has never once worked for me.

How hard is it to get right, right? Nutty!
 

Chriss_m

macrumors member
Aug 3, 2022
53
121
Scotland
Thank Christ. The state that app is in is a complete joke from the leading tech company in the world. Total mess, but even that isn't as bad as their horrendous, disastrous Books app which needs to be re-conceptualised and built from the ground up.
 

iMacDragon

macrumors 68020
Oct 18, 2008
2,371
716
UK
I'd just like if it could reliably not end up jumping to playing the same episode again or another one I've already listened to..
 

archer75

macrumors 68040
Jan 26, 2005
3,116
1,746
Oregon
I wish they'd add a download section to carplay like on the phone. And change the overall UI so it doesn't eat up so much screen real estate. Show icons don't have to be so huge! And swiping results in so many false taps in the podcast app. More than in any other app.

I don't use up next in apple podcasts. It's just a mess of things i'll probably never listen to. I use the pocket casts app as it's just way easier to work with than apple podcasts. Typically in the mornings i'll download the new episodes that interest me and add them to up next with a simple swipe. Up next in pocket casts are just episodes I put there and not a bunch of random crap apple puts there. I listen to that on my commute and i'm done.
 
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n00boflife

macrumors newbie
Apr 7, 2011
9
21
Listen Now /Up Next should be configurable. For instance, l’d prefer it to queue only the latest episodes of Shows followed. I want it to be dynamic and continually updated to queue the most recently updated episode to be Up Next.

For CarPlay, I want to be able to mark an episode that is playing, as played, so that the next episode in the queue starts automatically.

Lastly, for CarPlay, I want to be able to skip forward and back during playback in larger increments than 30s. Maybe by long pressing the forward or back controls should accelerate the skip interval. At the moment, repeatedly pressing the skip forward 30s symbol is tiresome, especially if a podcast is quite long.
 
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