iTunes leaves non-Apple apps out of 'podcast' search results

Trying to find a good podcast app besides the official one from Apple? If you're searching on the iTunes desktop store then you might be out of luck.

iOS developer Shahruz Shaukat reported on Twitter that a search for "podcasts" on the iTunes desktop client yields only Apple's official podcast app, while other popular third-party podcast apps like Instacast and Downcast are left off the list of results. Moreover, the behaviour persists even after hitting "See All."

It was later confirmed by Instapaper creator Marco Arment, who said that searches for both "podcast" and "podcasts" returned the same Apple-only results.

We found the same result in our own test. When searching the iTunes desktop program for both "podcast" and "podcasts," Apple's Podcasts app was the only result listed under iPhone and iPad apps. Other Twitter users said that the same thing happens in the UK iTunes store.

An Apple spokesperson did not immediately respond when contacted. There's no word as to whether this is just a glitch affecting the iTunes desktop store, or whether Apple intentionally made the change.

The behaviour does not seem to be affecting the Canadian iTunes store or the iOS App Store, however. One Twitter user posted a screenshot of a search for "podcasts" in the Canadian iTunes store that brought back a number of alternative apps, like PodCruncher and SimpleCasts.

In our search, we found that the iOS App Store brought up third-party apps like TuneIn Radio.

Back in June, Apple released its standalone podcast app, which provides one-stop access to the podcasts currently available via iTunes.