WWDC: Podcasts app gets more Siri support, arrives on Apple Watch

This year, Apple focused its WWDC keynote entirely on its software and operating systems. That choice meant the presentation didn’t get into any big-ticket numbers about the company’s entertainment services. However, Apple has made some updates to add functionality to both its Podcasts and Apple Music platforms.

First up is the Podcasts app arriving on watchOS. That means Apple Watch owners will be able to control their show listening from their wrists. Episodes of your favorite shows will sync automatically across the smartwatch and any other Apple devices where you’d listen.

Podcasts are also getting some additional Siri-related updates. On the latest watchOS, you’ll be able to request a podcast episode with the voice assistant, providing a hands-free option for listening controls.

Another Siri update for Podcasts is for iOS. The mobile operating system’s latest version will support MP3 chapters in episodes. That means you could mark each section of your show, allowing listeners to skip directly to them. The chapter points can be chosen manually or accessed using Siri.

There wasn’t any attention for Apple Music in the big stage show, but that doesn’t mean zero news. The streaming service is getting a web player. It can now be used in browsers through an embeddable music player. The full service can’t be accessed in this fashion — just songs, albums, and playlists — so although it’s not a complete replacement of the iTunes-based version for computer users, it’s a step up from the 30-second previews that were previously available.

Anna Washenko