iPhone users can now view a live text version of a podcast episode on Podcasts app.The words are highlighted as they listen, and users can tap anywhere in the transcript to play the episode at that specific spot. Transcripts can also be searched for specific words and phrases. This feature makes it much easier for users to locate and skip to the part of a podcast they’re most interested in.
According to 9to5Mac, the feature will be accessible by tapping a new “quote” icon in the app’s bottom toolbar. There’s also an option to view the transcript without listening by holding down on the episode details page and selecting “View Transcript.”
Apple’s Podcast app auto-generates transcripts, but podcasters can provide their own or edit Apple’s auto-generated ones. Custom transcripts can be submitted, or a corrected version can be uploaded later. Music lyrics won’t be transcribed, and back-catalogue episodes will be added gradually. Apple says that cross-talk may affect transcription quality. Additionally, explicit episode transcripts will not be visible to users with content restrictions.
The change is live in iOS 17.4 developer beta, which has already been released to developers. Podcast transcripts will be available for all with iOS 17.4 stable release, expected by March. The update also brings some changes in accordance with the EU’s Digital Markets Act and allows alternative app stores and sideloading of apps.