In addition to the release of OS X 10.9.3 alongside updates to iTunes and iTunes Connect, Apple today released version 2.1 of its Podcasts app for iPhone and iPad.

Notably, the app now adds support for Siri, allowing users to ask Siri to “play podcasts” or play specific podcasts using commands like “Play TedTalks.” Apple also notes that many enhancements have been made to navigation to improve episode browsing in the app:

• Quickly find episodes you haven’t listened to in the new Unplayed tab
• Browse episodes that are available to download or stream in the Feed tab
• Save your favorite episodes to keep them offline
• Episodes can now be automatically deleted after you play them
• Tap on links that appear in podcast and episode descriptions to open them in Safari

Apple is also including support for its new CarPlay feature in the updated app, which is debuting in select vehicles and aftermarket systems this year. In addition, you’ll find other tweaks and improvements to navigation in version 2.1.The updated Podcasts app is available on the App Store now and a full list of what’s new is below:

What’s New in Version 2.1

This update includes several improvements that make playing your favorite podcasts even easier:

Improved Episode Browsing
• Quickly find episodes you haven’t listened to in the new Unplayed tab
• Browse episodes that are available to download or stream in the Feed tab
• Save your favorite episodes to keep them offline
• Episodes can now be automatically deleted after you play them
• Tap on links that appear in podcast and episode descriptions to open them in Safari

Ask Siri
• You can now ask Siri to play podcast episodes by simply saying “play podcasts”
• To play specific podcasts or stations, just ask Siri to play them by name, like “play TEDTalks”
• Please note that Siri may not be available in all languages or in all areas.

Additional Improvements
• Podcasts now supports CarPlay
• Start playing a station right from the stations list — just tap the Play button next to the station name
• Share links to your favorite podcasts using AirDrop

This update also resolves playback issues after syncing with iTunes and improves stability while downloading podcasts.

Update: On Sunday Apple pushed out what appears to be a minor bug fix update to this release. Version 2.1.1 has a nearly-identical update log, except for the final line:

This update also resolves playback issues after syncing with iTunes and improves stability while downloading podcasts. Stability has also been improved when upgrading and when interacting with certain podcast episodes.

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12 Responses to “Apple updates Podcasts iOS app w/ Siri support, CarPlay, improved episode browsing, more”

  1. This is a nice update!

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  2. Can’t wait to try it but where is the “Unplayed” and “Feed” tab?

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  3. If only they would let us add podcasts that have paid subscriptions I might be happy.

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  4. Jamie Buch says:

    What about password protected podcasts? or will I forever have a list of failed download attempts.

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  5. That’s a really nice purple.

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  6. Sara Polton says:

    The update has completely ruined the app for me! Don’t update! It won’t let me download new episodes and crashes. Help!

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  7. Mark Granger says:

    The addition of Siri support in Podcasts means that it is likely we will see a Siri SDK in iOS 8 possibly with backwards compatibility to iOS 7. As an app developer, this is something that is very interesting to me. We can already use Siri for searches via the keyboard microphone button but having full Siri integration would add a long of functionality especially for apps used in an automobile. There was also a rumor that Apple plans to add a limited form of Siri voice recognition as an offline feature in a future version of iOS.

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  8. callmedave2 says:

    What happened to “Mark all as played”?

    Like