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Apple Podcasts gets storage-cleaning tools and annual subscriptions with iOS 15.5

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While Apple Podcasts is quite competitive with Spotify and others, Cupertino doesn’t seem to want to give up its own podcast service. TechCrunch reports now that Apple is introducing a few new features in Apple Podcasts, and they will benefit users and podcast creators alike.

Apple Podcast gets storage space cleaning tools, support for annual subscriptions

The new features for Apple Podcasts on iPhone, iPad and Mac are also coming the latest software updates that Apple is now distributing to supporting devices. Key features in this update include options to manage podcast storage across devices and tools to enable annual podcast subscriptions. For podcast creators, Apple has announced the delegated delivery system, but more on that later. For now, let’s focus on what podcast listeners will get with Apple Podcasts.

First of all, you probably know that Apple Podcasts downloads shows to your device, and this can cause the app to consume a lot of device storage. This can be a problem, especially if you have a 64GB iPhone or iPad with less storage, as it will prevent you from taking new photos or installing new apps and games.

Additionally, Apple Podcast users may have been even more annoyed when iOS 14.5 added a bug to the app that caused unwanted, older episodes of shows to be downloaded. Yes, to the point where instead of ‘hunger as a wolf’ we could say ‘hungry as Apple Podcasts for storage’… no? Okay. Continue!

Apple knew that Apple Podcasts required a lot of storage space, so with the launch of iOS 15.5 and iPad 15.5, Cupertino solved the problem by including new tools for the Apple Podcasts diet, we mean tools that allow you to easily manage the collected downloads of a show, potentially free up storage space (if only losing real weight were that easy…)

Back to the topic, when you go to the Settings app on iPhone and iPad, you can tap “Automatically Downloaded” in the Podcasts sections and choose how many episodes you want to download and save. The following options you have are: download a certain number of recent episodes (like the last three, five or ten), or choose to download all recently published episodes (like in the last server, 14 or 30 days). You may not even want to download anything by choosing the “Off” option and making Apple Podcasts more of a streaming service.

According to Apple, brand new Apple Podcasts users have saved the last five episodes for all episodes and all episodes for serial shows by default. Yes, we recommend that you go and configure what is convenient for you to avoid any unpleasant surprises (especially if you have a 64 GB iPhone)

After you select your preference, the app will ask you to remove the automatically downloaded episodes that no longer meet the newly selected criteria from the app. Pretty much, this works as a bulk cleanup tool for removing a lot of episodes. Before the update, it was a manual and rather tedious process.

Now you can also configure those preferences at the show level for more customization.

The new option will also show up on your iPhone recommendations regarding cleaning up device storage. You can access it from Settings > General > iPhone Storage.

Podcast creator options

Apple Podcasts has also gained some useful options for podcast creators.

Apple is now introducing the option for podcast creators to have annual subscriptions to premium podcasts in addition to the monthly options. Note that the annual subscription is now selected as the default, so if you’re subscribing to a podcast, check your payment option.

Delegated delivery, on the other hand, is a feature not rolling out now with iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5. This feature will be available later this fall with supported podcast hosting providers. With delegated delivery, podcasters can easily distribute their podcasts directly to Apple Podcasts from third-party hosting providers. The first hosting providers to do that are Acast, ART19, Blubrry, Buzzsprout, Libsyn, Omny Studio, and RSS.com, and more services will be added over time.

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