Podcasts app update adds iCloud sync, custom stations

A new update to Podcasts adds some new features like iCloud sync and a way to create custom stations that stay up-to-date with new episodes.

Apple's tweaked Podcasts playback screen.
Apple's tweaked Podcasts playback screen. (Credit: Apple)

A new update to Apple's standalone app for podcasts adds a handful of new features and fixes some bugs.

Key among the new stuff is a way to create custom stations that get new episodes of podcasts when they're published. You can also set whether you want these stations to start with the oldest or newest episodes. These stations are stored on Apple's iCloud, so if you're switching between two different iOS devices, they'll stay synced up.

Apple's also tweaked the Now Playing view that looks a bit more like Apple's standalone Music app. This is a departure from the previous design, which tried to mimic an analog tape player.

Podcasts remains one of Apple's ill-received apps. Since its release, it has accumulated more than 21,400 reviews, though the average is two out of a possible five stars, or what Apple considers as "I don't like it."

The release notes:

  • Create custom stations of your favorite podcasts that update automatically with new episodes.
  • Choose whether your stations begin playing with the newest or oldest unplayed episode.
  • Your stations are stored in iCloud and kept up-to-date on all of your devices.
  • Create an On-The-Go playlist with your own list of episodes.
  • Playlists synced from iTunes now appear in the Podcasts app.
  • The Now Playing view has been redesigned with easier to use playback controls.
  • Addressed an issue with resuming playback when returning to the app.
  • Additional performance and stability improvements.