Apple appears to be excluding third-party podcast applications from the results of app searches performed using iTunes, The Verge confirmed late Wednesday. Developers Shahruz Shaukat and Marco Arment first noted the odd behavior on Twitter.
Users who search for “podcast” or “podcasts” within iTunes receive only one app result, Apple’s official podcast application, launched in June. Selecting “See All” or otherwise trying to find any of the excellent third-party options, such as Instacast, fails to reveal additional results.
The results when a user searches for “podcast” or “podcasts” in the iTunes App Store
Third-party podcast applications can still be found by searching directly for their name, or by searching for the phrase “podcast apps.”
The results when a user searches for “podcast app” or “podcast apps” in the iTunes App Store
Suggesting that this may not be intentional on Apple’s part, a search for “podcast” using the iOS App Store returns all relevant results, including Apple’s app and third party options.
The Apple podcast app is a fresh and interesting take on discovering and listening to the growing podcast database, but we hope that its promotion to the only result for “podcasts” is unintentional and will be quickly remedied.
The innovation and initiative of third-party developers is what truly drives the iOS ecosystem and it would be a shame, to say the least, if Apple has decided to push its own, arguably inferior, solutions at the expense of its valuable developers.
We’ve put in calls to Apple seeking clarification but have yet to receive a response. We will update this story if they respond or if the situation in the iTunes App search changes.
UPDATE: As noted by MacRumors, searching for “podcast” or “podcasts,” and then filtering by type to view only apps returns normal third-party results. This lends weight to the theory that the exclusion of third-party apps from a general search is unintentional and the result of a bug or glitch in the way iTunes returns App Store search results.