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

Although Apple Podcasts is battling quite the severe competition in the faces of Spotify and others, Cupertino seems to not want to give up on its own podcast service. TechCrunch now reports that Apple is introducing a few new features to Apple Podcasts, and they will benefit both users and podcast makers.

Apple Podcast gains storage clean up tools, support for annual subscriptions

The new features for Apple Podcasts on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, are arriving alongside the latest software updates that Apple is now distributing to supporting devices. The main features included in this update are options for managing podcast storage across devices and tools to enable annual podcast subscriptions. For podcast makers, Apple announced Delegated Delivery system, but more on that later. For now, let’s focus on what podcast listeners will be getting with Apple Podcasts.

First off, you probably know that Apple Podcasts download shows to your device, and this might cause the app to consume a lot of device storage. This might be an issue, especially if you have a 64GB iPhone, or an iPad with less storage, as it can cause you to be unable to take new photos or install new apps and games.

And on top of that, Apple Podcast users might have found themselves even more annoyed when iOS 14.5 included a bug to the app causing unwanted, older episodes of shows to be downloaded. Yes, to the point where instead of saying ‘Hungry as a wolf’ we might say ‘Hungry as Apple Podcasts for storage’… no? Okay. Moving on!

Apple knew Apple Podcasts became very storage-hungry, so with the launch of iOS 15.5 and iPad 15.5, Cupertino addressed the issue by including new tools for Apple Podcasts’ diet, we mean tools that will allow you to easily remove a show’s accumulated downloads, potentially freeing up gigs of storage (if only losing real weight was so easy…)

Back to the topic, when you go to the Settings app on iPhone and iPad, you will be able to tap on “Automatically Downloaded” from 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 latest three, five, or ten), or choose to download all episodes published recently (like in the last sever, 14, or 30 days). You might even want to not download anything by choosing the “Off” option and making Apple Podcasts more of a streaming service.

By default, brand-new Apple Podcasts users have the last five episodes kept for all episodic shows, and all episodes kept for serial shows, according to Apple. Yes, we advise you to go and configure what is convenient for you to avoid unpleasant surprises (especially if you’re sporting a 64GB iPhone)

Once you select your preference, the app will prompt you to remove the auto-downloaded episodes that no longer meet the newly selected criteria from the app. Pretty much, this works as a bulk clean-up tool for removing a lot of episodes. Before the update, it was a manual and quite a pain-staking process.

Now, you can configure those preferences at the show level as well, for more customization.

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

Options for podcast creators

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

Apple is now introducing the option for podcast creators to have annual subscription plans for premium podcasts alongside the monthly options. Keep in mind that the annual subscription will now be selected as the default, so when you’re subscribing to a podcast, make sure to check your payment option.

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

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