Technology

What's Up With Apple: 2 Million Podcasts, AR, New Icons

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has rounded up more than 2 million podcasts for its Apple Podcasts platform. Like everything else, though, there are winners and losers.

According to independent Apple Podcast tracker Podcast Industry Insights, nearly two-thirds (62.5%) of those 2 million or so podcasts have not published a new episode in the past three months. Slightly more than a third (36.3%) have 10 or more episodes available through Apple Podcasts.

Unsurprisingly, the podcasts with 10 or more episodes also get the most activity. The following chart shows Apple Podcast activity for 90 days based on the number of available episodes. Only those podcasts with 10 or more episodes have more active (purple bar) than inactive (gold bar) episodes, indicating, perhaps, that successful podcasting may not be as easy as it appears to be.

We noted on Tuesday that in a podcast with New York Times tech industry writer Kara Swisher, Apple CEO Tim Cook had some vague comments on the rumored Apple Car. He also had some comments on augmented reality (AR), a technology that Cook long ago predicted would be more important than virtual reality. According to a report in Tom’s Guide, Cook told Swisher, “The promise of AR is that you and I are having a great conversation right now. Arguably, it could even be better if we were able to augment our discussion with charts or other things to appear. And your audience would also benefit from this, too, I think.”

Cook added, “I’m already seeing AR take off in some of these areas with use of the phone. And I think the promise is even greater in the future.” That promise could be realized in rumored Apple Glasses or an Apple-branded mixed reality headset, similar to Facebook’s Oculus products. The glasses, if they arrive, would be cheaper than the headset that includes lidar sensors that would track hand movements and gestures.

In a report on AR glasses published Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal cited tech industry research firm IDC’s estimates that unit sales of AR glasses and headsets will grow from fewer than a million in 2020 to 23.4 million by 2025. IDC also thinks that businesses will purchase about 85% of those units.

Finally, Apple has updated the icon it displays for its Apple Music for Artists app, and there is speculation that the company is on the cusp of issuing a whole new design language for its app icons. Last October, Apple updated an icon for the developer version of App Store Connect using the same design language.

Here’s an illustration from MacRumors showing the current Apple Music icon on the left and the new one on the right.