Apple has updated its Podcasts app today with a number of new features. Among the most notable is the ability to create custom stations that update automatically as new episodes of podcasts are available. There are also a number of new enhancements for stations and playlists, including iCloud support to keep stations up to date on all your iOS devices.

The app also now includes a redesigned “Now Playing” view that shows playback controls, as pictured in the screenshots above.

Other improvements include On-The-Go playlists and support for syncing playlists from iTunes, an option to have stations begin playing with the latest or oldest episode, and other fixes and performance enhancements:

 • Create custom stations of your favorite podcasts that update automatically with new episodes
• Choose whether your stations begin playing with the newest or oldest unplayed episode
• Your stations are stored in iCloud and kept up-to-date on all of your devices
• Create an On-The-Go playlist with your own list of episodes
• Playlists synced from iTunes now appear in the Podcasts app
• The Now Playing view has been redesigned with easier to use playback controls
• Addressed an issue with resuming playback when returning to the app
• Additional performance and stability improvements

Apple’s Podcasts app initially received much criticism over its design, lack of functionality, and performance-related issues after being released in June 2012. The company has since released a number of smaller updates for fixes and performance enhancements, but today’s update specifically addresses many of the most common complaints including iCloud support and playlists.