| Cult of Mac

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 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.

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.

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.

This app converts your entire reading list into listening material

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Elocance
With this app, you're basically converting any written content you want into a podcast.
Photo: Elocance

Between work and keeping up with the latest news, it can feel like there’s too much information to consume. Luckily, there’s a way to multitask and make the most out of the hours in your day — and tackle your reading list at the same time.

The Elocance Audio Reading App is highly rated, receiving 4.4 out of 5 stars on the App Store for its ability to convert all written content into audio that you can listen to while multitasking or on the go. And you can get a lifetime subscription on the cheap!

Real astronauts will splash-land on For All Mankind podcast

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‘For All Mankind: The Official Podcast’ debuted Friday on Apple Podcasts
For All Mankind: The Official Podcast is a mix of hard science and alternate history.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ is launching a podcast dedicated to For All Mankind, the streaming service’s alternate-history show about the space race. The podcast will serve as a platform for real astronauts and scientists to discuss space travel with the series’ cast and creators.

The first episode of the podcast debuts Friday, the same day season two of the sci-fi series arrives.

Apple might give paid podcasts a whirl

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Apple Podcasts could get a premium tier.
Everything on Apple Podcasts now is free. That could change if the company creates Podcasts+.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple is reportedly considering a for-pay podcast subscription service. It would join other Apple services offering premium content, like Apple TV+ and News+.

The news sent shares of rival Spotify down over 7% on Friday.

Apple recommends the best podcasts, books and audiobooks of 2020

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Apple names its best podcasts, books and audiobooks of 2020
These are some of Apple’s choices for best book or podcast of 2020.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

With the year winding down, Apple picked its favorite podcasts, books and audiobooks of 2020. The offerings “kept us entertained, made us think, provided a much-needed escape, or filled our hearts up,“ noted Apple.

All the recommendations are, of course, available through Apple Podcasts or Apple Books.

Apple snaps up startup that makes finding podcasts more like listening to radio

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iPhone FM radio chips
Why can't finding the right podcast be more like this?
Photo: Alan Levine/Flickr CC

Apple quietly snapped up podcasting app Scout FM, which tries to make podcasting sound more like tuning into radio stations, for an undisclosed amount earlier this year.

Scout FM worked by letting users choose particular topics, then automatically customizing a radio station-like podcasting listening experience for them. It was intended as a way to cut through the findability clutter of hundreds of thousands of available podcasts.