iOS: While most Apple fans who love podcasts have probably switched to an app like Overcast or Castro, you might want to go back and spend a few minutes with Apple’s updated Podcasts app in iOS 12. There are a few new features that have finally made this app a viable alternative to the, er, alternatives. Here’s what’s new.
Apple now supports chapters for MP3-based podcasts in its official app. That means you’ll now be able to jump to exactly the topics you want to hear about in supported podcasts such as Accidental Tech Podcast or the Maccast.
To find a podcast’s chapters, just go to the main playback screen and scroll down, just past the “Description” section. If there are chapters available, you’ll see a “Chapters” section, and you can tap “Show” to list them all. Tap a chapter to jump to that point in the podcast.
You can also now customise the Podcast app’s skip buttons in iOS 12. Open the Settings app and choose Podcasts. Scroll down to find a section labelled “Skip Buttons”, where you’ll be able to set the time interval for jumping forwards or backwards in a podcast.
You can pick from 10, 15, 30, 45 or 60 seconds. Try keeping forward at around 30 seconds, which is useful for skipping ads, and consider a shorter time for the “back” button, which makes it easier to rewind a little if you happened to miss a key moment on your show.
If you want to learn more about what Podcasts can do, the Medium account “Appsntips” has a full guide to the other major updates Apple dropped into the iOS 12 Podcasts app, including a new sleep timer and adjustable notifications for individual podcasts — in case you’re tired of seeing a daily show pop up on your device.