| Cult of Mac

How to make Podcasts use less storage

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Clear up space with new Podcasts settings in iOS 15.5.
Clear up space with new Podcasts settings in iOS 15.5.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

You can clear up a big chunk of your iPhone’s storage space by limiting how many podcasts you keep downloaded.

iOS 15.5, which Apple released Monday, introduces a feature to automatically limit the number of episodes you have downloaded in your podcast library. If you struggle with storage on your iPhone, enabling this setting will give you more space. It’ll automatically clear out downloads if you don’t listen right away, along with any backlog of old episodes.

Apple Podcasts offers new features for creators and listeners

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Creators and listeners both can benefit from Apple Podcasts' new features.
Creators and listeners both can benefit from Apple Podcasts' new features.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple offered several new features for its Podcasts app Monday. They include downloaded episode controls, annual subscription plans, partnerships with third-party hosting platforms and more.

There’s something for both podcast creators as well as listeners in the updates, with some changes available in imminent OS updates and others slated to become available in the fall, Cupertino said.

Apple Podcasts app gets new filtering options in iOS 15.4

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Apple Podcasts filtering in iOS 15.4
It's not easier to navigate long-running shows.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple is making a number of nice design improvements to its Podcasts app in iOS 15.4. The biggest is the ability to filter podcast episodes by season.

That particular change undoubtedly will prove handy as users navigate their way through long-running shows. But it’s not the only new option for podcast filtering in Apple’s latest beta.

Apple pushes new activity challenge and resources for Heart Month

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Apple celebrates Heart Month across an array of products and services.
Apple celebrates Heart Month across an array of products and services.
Photo: Apple

In recognition of Heart Month, aka February, Apple is rolling out a series of new activity challenge and heart-health resources to support users’ efforts to stay healthy.

Also toward that end, the company hopes you’ll learn a thing or two from preliminary trends shown in the Apple Heart and Movement Study.

Apple celebrates the best and most popular podcasts of 2021

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Apple's best podcasts of 2021
A Slight Change of Plans is Apple's Best Show of the Year
Photo: Apple

Apple on Tuesday published its showcase of this year’s best and most popular podcasts in the United States. It also called 2021 a year for “shows that moved us in ways unlike ever before.”

A Slight Change of Plans with Maya Shankar has been named the Best Show of the Year, while Anything for Selena with Maria Garcia is Apple’s Newcomer of the Year.

Act fast to help Apple celebrate America’s national parks

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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

With the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) turning 105 years old, Apple said today it will donate $10 for purchases of its products from official sales points to the National Park Foundation (NPF) through August 29. The Cupertino tech giant will also share new ways for customers to learn about and celebrate America’s parks.

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.