A new podcast app on Apple’s App Store that lets you listen to podcasts while reading text, and Spotify’s own app for reading audio, are just a few of the new features the iOS developers added to their respective platforms this week.
Both apps have been designed to be easy to use for newcomers to the iOS app ecosystem.
Spotify has a built-in iOS podcast reader, for example, while Apple has recently added a new feature called “Listen Now” that lets listeners read audio from podcasts.
Both of these new features are built-ins of the App Store, though, and it’s not clear which features are included with each app.
Apple has not yet announced how it will distribute these new tools.
In an interview with Digital Trends, Apple software engineer Ryan J. Hartley said that Apple has experimented with the idea of building an iOS podcast library using the existing Spotify app for listening to podcasts.
“We’re not sure what we want to do with it, but we’ve been experimenting with different things,” Hartley told Digital Trends.
“The problem with Spotify and Apple’s own podcast apps is that they’re very much the same,” he added.
“Apple’s podcast library has been designed around Apple’s ecosystem, and so it’s really hard to separate the different elements of a podcast that are different for a variety of reasons.”
But that may not be the case for the new Apple Podcast app, which has no support for podcasting and will be built by the developers themselves.
“What we’re doing is really building a new iOS app that’s very much a curated podcast experience that’s based on your podcasts, based on what you’ve listened to in the past,” Hartleys explained.
“It’s not just the same podcasts, it’s a curated experience for that.
We’re not building it from scratch, but instead we’re building it for the same audience.”
A curated podcast appThe new podcast service will have a number of features that are built into the app itself, including a “top 100” of podcasts from various sources.
Spotify will also have a list of top-rated podcasts based on user ratings, and Apple will be publishing podcasts to its own playlist service, which includes the Top 100.
The new app will also feature a new RSS feed for podcasts, which will allow listeners to subscribe to a podcast they’ve recently listened to.
While both Spotify and iTunes already offer a number a curated podcasts, the new app promises a completely different experience, with a new user interface and new podcast features.
“This new app is all about listening to the best content that you have to offer and building a curated platform that will have an edge over the competition,” Harthews said.
“You’ll see an increased focus on listening to great content and creating the best experience possible.”
A new Podcast app will let users listen to audio in the backgroundA new podcast will let you listen in the foregroundThe new Podcast interface will be very similar to Spotify’s, with new features including an expanded feature for podcasts that will allow you to listen to your podcasts while in the middle of reading a text, a “Top 100” section that lists all the best podcasts, and an “add to listen” feature that will add an episode to your queue.
“There will be a lot of new features and some things that we’re calling ‘top of the line’ features that you’ll be able to expect in the new Podcast service,” Hartshires said.
“There will also be a new Podcast experience that is very much focused on listening and listening to your favorite podcasts.”
The new app should launch in the coming weeks, with full release in early 2018.