Apple’s recent announcement that the TV app is coming to the Mac has led to the confirmation that, within the next major version of macOS, the system will also include standalone Music, Podcasts and TV apps, a long with a major redesign of the Books app.
The upcoming release of standalone media apps has sparked discussion around whether or not the next major macOS version will still include the iTunes app at all. Currently it would appear as though Apple will still include the iTunes app, mainly because there has been no news of a new solution for manually syncing devices, particularly older iPods and iPhones. However, with the recent trend of siloing media (Disney and other networks creating their own standalone Netflix-like platforms) it could definitely be on the cards for removal.
This news also came with the announcement that Apple are currently testing a web interface for its podcast directory. Previously, podcasts and episodes were listed on the website, but couldn’t be played without opening iTunes. The new interface not only lists shows and episodes, but also allows users to listen to episodes within the browser itself.
This move from Apple comes after competition within the podcast space has ramped up in recent months. Spotify have recently increased their focus on podcasts with the acquisition of Gimlet Media, a long with the recent acquisition of Australian made podcast app Pocket Casts by a combined public radio group of WNYC, NPR, WBEZ and This American Life.