Today’s Apple TV update brings support for podcasts via a new first-party application.
It’s very much what you would expect. There’s a storefront, just like other platforms, and you can search for new shows to subscribe to very easily. There’s full support for both audio and video podcasts, and the audio keeps playing even if you leave the app, so you can bounce back to that amazing screensaver without the audio stopping.
If you subscribe to podcasts in iTunes or the built-in Podcasts app on iOS, your shows will appear on the TV automatically, complete with information about which episodes have been played.
Frustratingly, iCloud doesn’t seem to sync play position within an episode, so if you pause a show on your iPhone to start it back up on your Apple TV, you’re in for some scrubbing.
Scrubbing is very confusing in this app. Long-pressing on the episode allows you to view the full description, but there are no player controls to be found. I was only able to scrub back and forth by navigating to the Now Playing screen and swiping down on the remote. It feels pretty half-baked.
Apple’s solution is not what I’m looking for, but I’m glad it’s here. Podcasts being front and center in the living room is only good for the industry
However, I hope that this opens the door for third-party podcast clients on the Apple TV. I’d love to be able to listen to a show while in the living room or in the front part of the house without carrying my iPhone around in my pocket with the speaker cranked up. That is going to continue to be my game plan for now.