Apple has redesigned its entire App Store in iOS 11. Along with this large update, there is also a new Podcasts App. This is terrific news as discovery has been less accessible on Apple's podcast app.
1. Redesigned Podcasts App UI
While the overall idea of the app remains the same, the new Podcasts app in iOS 11 has significant changes to improve user experience with an improved interface design.
The podcast industry has also grown exponentially.
At WWDC last month, Apple shared some statistics too:
• 400,000 Podcasts
• 14,000,000 Episodes created
• 10,000,000 Episodes downloaded
• 155 Countries for distribution and submission
A lot of key media players have also now forayed into the podcasting space, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, BBC, NPR, CNN, Bloomberg, MTV, Vogue, Verge, ESPN, Disney, Buzzfeed, Entertainment News and more. Well known individuals for their business acumen or industry expertise have joined the bandwagon as well, offering insight via interviews with guests. A good example is LinkedIn's co-founder and Greylock partner, Reid Hoffman who interviews entrepreneurs and business leaders in his Masters of Scale podcast.
The new app addresses some of the problems in the prior iOS version where it was difficult to add all episodes to the library and the listening order did not truly reflect the content best. In the new Podcast app for iOS 11, you can:
• decide how episodes are ordered and recommended
• add the full season to your library, with the newest episode at the top
• have collections of episodes
• use Quick Play to pick up where you last left off
• easily find episodes with clear, concise titles
This new format is ideal for narrative and storytelling content and encourages listeners to hear the whole season and discover new episodes. There are also four new tabs along the bottom of the interface: Listen Now, Library, Browse and Search.
You can also add more detail about any episode. This is ideal for podcast trailers, season trailers and episode bonus content.
Apple has also added analytics accessible via iTunes Connect to help determine:
• how many people are listening
• how much do they actually listening
• where are they listening
Here's an example from the podcast The Very Hungry Tourists.
2. New HomePod, High Fidelity Sound for Your Home
Apple announced its new smart speaker, HomePod at WWDC to be released in December. While the new HomePod is similar to the Amazon Echo and Google Home in lacking a display and being activated by the voice, HomePod differentiates itself with superior sound quality.
Given our work with and love for audio at Elf, we’re keen on trying out the new HomePod for ourselves. The ability to have distortion-free high fidelity sound with directional control is very appealing. HomePod achieves this with 7 beam-forming tweeters that come with individual amplifiers and an upward-facing woofer and a 6-microphone array. The A8 chip powers Siri and also has room-sensing technology. With its entry into the home audio systems, HomePod takes on the likes of Sonos and also offers integration with Apple Music.
3. Updated Apple Music
Apple has also updated Apple Music so you can discover and share music and artists with your friends. We like this new feature as well as the option to play 2 different tracks in 2 different locations in your home using AirPlay 2. It's easier to control your home audio system and the speakers throughout your home.
Together, all these updates make for a much higher quality audio experience from discovery to playing audio. We're excited to contribute to this via our Hayden's podcast Stardust launching in early 2019.