iOS 17 updates for Apple Podcasts include new search filters, subscriptions integration and more

Range of feature and UX enhancements announced at company’s WWDC event

Apple Podcasts will be receiving several new features and updates as part of Apple’s new iOS 17 software update, the tech company has announced, which include better discoverability for podcasts and an enhanced user experience.

Unveiled yesterday as part of Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), these features will be included in forthcoming software updates for multiple operating systems, including iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS 14, watchOS 10, and tvOS 17. The updates are scheduled to arrive in Autumn.

“With iOS 17, we’ve made the iPhone more personal and intuitive by deeply considering the features we all rely on every day,” said Apple software engineering senior vice president Craig Federighi. “This release is packed with updates we think our users are going to love.”

For podcasters, the app will now support episode-level artwork for all shows, which will allow them to provide listeners with original illustrations that relate to the subject of each episode, as well as chapter-specific artwork which is played in real-time for the duration of the episode. The artwork can be published through the RSS feed of their hosting provider, and Apple Podcasts will default to using the show’s general artwork if not provided with episode-specific assets. 

Listeners will also be able to filter search results on the app by top results, shows, episodes, and channels, and access more information within the search results tab. They will also be able to see how much time is remaining in an episode they’ve already previously started and if it has been saved to their Library. 

A “refreshed” Now Playing experience has also been added which features a dynamic background based on the show or episode art, and allows listeners to add episodes to the queue, see what’s playing next, and access episode chapters which give the duration and remaining time of each chapter. 

Another benefit for listeners on the app is the addition of a feature which allows them to connect eligible app store subscriptions to top apps with Apple Podcasts. This includes global news apps such as Bloomberg and The Washington Post, health and fitness apps like Calm, kids and family apps like Lingokids, and so on. With this feature, subscribers can then gain access to exclusive shows and other benefits from these top apps on Apple Podcasts. 

“Our partnership with Apple Podcasts gives The Post an opportunity to deepen and expand our audience's relationship with our core products,” said The Post director of audio Renita Jablonski. “Not only will this allow our listeners to dig further into the stories they care about, they will be able to better discover the full range of coverage you can only get from The Washington Post.”

Lastly, Apple Podcasts is expanding its audio portfolio to include broadcasts from Apple Music Radio, available to subscribers of Apple Music or Apple One, with the entire catalogue of radio shows available commercial-free. New episodes of Apple Music Radio shows will also be released on-demand on both Apple Music and Apple Podcasts moving forward. 

Apple News+ or Apple One subscribers will also have access to professionally narrated audio stories from leading magazines and newspapers, available on both Apple Podcasts and Apple News.