Podcasts 2.1 Now Supports Siri

Today Apple has updated the iOS app Podcasts to version 2.1 and one of the major accessibility-relevant changes is that Siri can now play podcasts for you. Podcasts 2.1 also adds a tab grouping together all your unplayed podcasts, supports CarPlay, and has other miscellaneous improvements.

 iPhone screenshot shows Siri recognising the text "Play welcome to Nike fail podcast" and the reply "You don't have any podcasts matching 'Welcome to Nike fail'."
Testing Siri can be unintentionally hilarious at times …

To play the current podcast, say “play podcasts”. If there is no current podcast, this appears to pick a random episode in a random podcast to play.

To play a specific podcast or podcast station ask Siri to play it by name, for example “play This American Life” or “play All Things Considered podcast”.

You may need to add the word “podcast” at the end of your command if Siri is not correctly recognising the podcast name, or if you have a piece of music or audiobook that could fit the same command as the default is to play the music or audiobook. For example “play Welcome To Night Vale” will start playing the paid episode of Welcome To Night Vale that iTunes classes as an audiobook, but “play Welcome To Night Vale podcasts” will start the current episode of that podcast.

Some users have reported that the new version of Podcasts frequently crashes, but these problems can be solved by deleting and reinstalling the application. Podcasts 2.1 requires iOS 7 or higher and is compatible with any iOS device running version 7. You can download it for free from the iTunes store.

– Ricky

2 thoughts on “Podcasts 2.1 Now Supports Siri”

  1. This functionality has actually been around since iOS 6 (and maybe even sooner than that). However it’s bizarre because it would come and go with point updates and sometimes when it would come back some of the functionality would be missing. Before this latest update you could actually initiate podcasts via Siri as long as you knew the name of the episode, or at least most of the name of an episode. You could not pause though. The way it’s working now is basically as well as it was working at a certain point during IOS 6’s development except for the fact that the podcast app doesn’t seem to open by itself when I tried to initiate a podcast. Instead I have to “open podcast app” first and then use the various podcast commands. Not really a big deal though. Either way it’s great that they are officially endorsing this feature now because it\s something I use a lot.

    • Paul: That’s really bizarre! I’m glad they’re standing behind it now – hopefully that’ll mean it’s more reliable in future. There’s definitely a hazard with writing about features I don’t use much because I can only write assuming that the documentation is correct and so often it isn’t!

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