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Apple donations through August 29 plus content collections help celebrate 105 years of America's national parks.
Apple donations through August 29 plus content collections help celebrate 105 years of America's national parks.
Photo: Austin Mann Photography/Apple

Apple Podcasts Subscriptions make their official debut

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Podcasts
Creators can now charge subscription fees.
Photo: Apple

Apple Podcasts Subscriptions went live Tuesday, allowing podcasters around the world to charge monthly subscriptions for their shows. When announced at Apple’s Spring Loaded event in April, the company billed the feature as a “global marketplace for listeners to discover premium subscriptions offered by their favorite creators.”

The premium podcasts show up in Apple’s Podcast app, complete with the ability to subscribe, in more than 170 countries and regions, Apple said. And the new option gives podcasters a fresh way to cash in on the craze Apple helped start.

iOS 14.5.1 update fixes App Tracking Transparency bug

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App Tracking Transparency is iOS 14.5's controversial new privacy-related feature.
Today's update fixes a bug that kept App Tracking Transparency from working properly for some users.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple rushed out iOS 14.5.1 on Monday, an update that fixes a bug in the App Tracking Transparency feature rolled out a week ago.

“This update fixes an issue with App Tracking Transparency where some users who previously disabled Allow Apps to Request to Track in Settings may not receive prompts from apps after re-enabling it,” Apple’s release notes said. “This update also provides important security updates and is recommended for all users.”

iPadOS 14.5.1, a version of the software for iPad users, also arrived Monday.

Tiger kings: New Apple podcast tackles the legend of Siegfried & Roy

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Siegfried and Roy
An intriguing subject for Apple's next podcast.
Photo: Carolhi/Wikipedia CC

Netflix has Joe Exotic and Tiger King. Now Apple is making its own move into the, err, big cat showbiz entertainment genre with a podcast on pop culture icons Siegfried & Roy.

The forthcoming Apple podcast will chronicle the career of the famous German-American entertainers, who were known for their Las Vegas shows featuring white lions and tigers. Siegfried Fischbacher died in January. His partner, Roy Horn — who was famously mauled by a tiger in 2003 during the duo’s live show — died last year due to coronavirus.

Spotify could take on Apple’s premium podcast service … with a twist

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Spotify is adding 2x as many monthly subscribers as Apple Music
Spotify reportedly won't take a cut of creators' subscription revenue.
Photo: Spotify

Earlier this week, Apple opened up its Podcasts service to subscriptions, calling it a “global marketplace for listeners to discover premium subscriptions offered by their favorite creators.” Now, The Wall Street Journal reports that Spotify is set to jump in with a rival premium podcast feature.

However, unlike Apple, Spotify supposedly won’t take a cut of podcasters’ subscription revenues.

Apple Podcasts app will get a major redesign with iOS 14.5

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Podcasts
Apple Podcast has some changes coming.
Photo: Apple

Apple announced some changes to its Apple Podcasts app at Tuesday’s Spring Loaded event. While not quite the dedicated Podcasts+ subscription service some were expecting, the update will allow individual creators to easily disseminate paid podcasts. From the sound of things, it’s a bit like an App Store for podcasts.

Apple describes Apple Podcasts Subscriptions as a “global marketplace for listeners to discover premium subscriptions offered by their favorite creators,” alongside offering millions of free shows.

Apple’s losing the battle over podcasts. Here’s how it could emerge victorious.

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Apple Podcasts could get a premium tier.
Can Apple turn its Podcasts franchise around?
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Is Apple finally getting serious about podcasting? With a premium podcast service reportedly in the works, and several exclusive shows already online, it looks like Apple might be ready to defend its turf when it comes to the increasingly popular medium.

It’s about time. The company that was so strongly identified with podcasts from the start is rapidly losing its dominance as competitors come on strong. Here’s how Apple could regain its podcasting edge.

Premium Podcasts+ service could debut at Tuesday’s Apple event

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Apple Podcasts could get a premium tier.
Would you shell out for Podcasts+?
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple could debut a premium podcast service at Tuesday’s “Spring Loaded” event, according to Recode reporter Peter Kafka.

“Pretty sure Apple is prepping its own podcast plan – a paid subscription service – on Tuesday,” Kafka tweeted Sunday.

No additional details are known about the possible podcast initiative, which presumably would join paid subscription services Apple News+, Apple Music, Apple TV+ and Apple Fitness+. The possibility of a paid podcasting service from Apple was rumored earlier this year.

Apple debuts war crimes podcast The Line

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The Line
There's a line. And on this side of it, people listen to Apple Podcasts.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s foray into podcasting continues with a new series called The Line that debuted Tuesday.

The podcast, which follows the true-crime blueprint successfully laid out by Serial, tells the story of former Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who was accused of war crimes. The first two episodes are now available to listen to.

Apple Podcasts changing wording for free podcasts from ‘Subscribe’ to ‘Follow’

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Apple Podcasts could get a premium tier.
Change is intended to avoid user confusion.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple is making a minor change to its Apple Podcasts app with iOS 14.5, ditching the “Subscribe” label to one that says “Follow.”

This change reflects language used commonly on social media platforms. Moreover, “Follow” suggests that the podcast is free, while “Subscribe” implies a paid subscription. Especially as Apple moves increasingly into paid subscriptions, this wording alteration is intended to avoid confusion.