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Apple recently previewed the upcoming version of its mobile operating system, iOS 7. This version is a radical redesign from previous versions, but comes with some things that affect podcasters.
iOS currently powers iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and iPad Mini.
Podcasts app is not preinstalled
Just as with iBooks and other Apple apps on iOS 6, iOS 7 currently doesn't include the Podcasts app.
This seems to indicate that users may still subscribe to audio podcasts with desktop iTunes, sync them with their device, and listen to them through the Music app. Video podcasts would be the same, except available under the Videos app.
For a better experience, you should encourage your iOS users to download the free Podcasts app, or else purchase another podcast app for iOS. The best apps are Instacast, PocketCasts, Stitcher (free), and Downcast.
iTunes Radio probably won't include podcasts
Apple announced iTunes Radio, a service that directly competes with Pandora by generating music “stations” based on your likes. This may be intelligent enough to see what music you're regularly listening to on your iOS device or iTunes, and then suggest stations.
Despite podcasts often being referred to as “Internet radio show,” Apple seems unlikely to include podcasts in iTunes Radio. There were no podcasts visible in the demonstration or in the current prerelease of iOS 7. And “Radio” has previously appeared in desktop iTunes, but was never connected with podcasts.
Bing search results in Siri
Apple introduced Siri, a voice-interactive personal assistent, on iOS 5. Siri will receive a major update in iOS 7 with a change voice and many other improvements.
Where this affects you most is that Siri will now display website search results without launching a browser (and presumably without unlocking the device). These results aren't powered by Google, but by Microsoft's Bing search engine. So in all your search-engine optimization (SEO), make sure you're submitting your site to Bing and following best practices to reach that search engine.
Check out these resources for more information about optimizing your site for Bing.
An iOS 7 feature exclusive to most recent iOS hardware (iPhone 5, iPad 4, iPad Mini, 5th generation iPod Touch, and later versions of all) is AirDrop—the ability to directly share anything from any program with a share button. This could mean the potential for sharing podcast episodes, or maybe even podcast subscriptions, with other iOS 7 users in your same room.
Watch the full WWDC keynote featuring iOS 7
Rant about iOS 7 and predictions for iPhone 5s
I talked more generally about iOS 7 in my podcast episode for TPN Weekly #101. But I'm quite surprised at how much iOS 7 is stealing from Android—the control center, lock screen, multitasking, and more. These are all features I've seen and used in Android long before now.
We all expect Apple to release new versions of their mobile devices in Fall, 2013. These devices will be touted as, “The most amazing ___ we've ever made.” DUH!
Besides the expected performance improvements—faster CPU, better camera, maybe more RAM, maybe 128 GB versions—I'm expecting some other features that will make the latest hardware more appealing than previous versions. For example, iPhone 4s was a performance boost to iPhone 4, but Siri launched exclusively on iPhone 4s.
So I expect iPhone 5s to also have an exclusive feature. I think that will be offline voice transcriptions, so most requests to Siri and voice-to-text transcriptions in documents will be powered completely by the phone and have very little delay waiting for data transfers.
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