Plex has announced a major update to its platform and mobile apps, introduced support for subscribing to and listening to podcasts, directly through the app, along with a significant redesign of its app experience that provides for faster navigation and a customizable home screen experience. New mobile apps for iOS and Android reimagines the Plex user experience to focus more on addressing what users want to watch or listen to rather than where it is coming from, and now allows users to customize their home screen to reorder or remove the standard sections like “On Deck” and add new ones from anywhere in the app. Users can also now easily combine content from multiple servers on their home screen — both their own and any other servers that they may be subscribed to — and there are now tabs at the bottom of the screen that can be rearranged easily as well, and even customized to allow users to focus on the media they prefer.
With these refinements, the update also brings support for Podcasts, leveraging the same Plex experience to allow users to enjoy podcasts across a wide range of platforms while still managing their subscriptions, what’s on deck, and even the saved listening state in the same way Plex does for movies and TV shows. Podcasts can be added to a personalized list that acts like a show would in a TV library, and the player in the mobile app has been enhanced to allow variable speed playback and quick forward-and-backward skipping, and Plex has also built a recommendations engine to help users find other podcasts that match their tastes. Podcasts is technically still launching in “beta” at this point, and is available in the iOS, Android, Roku, and Plex Web apps, with more to come in the future. Podcasts can also be used without a PlexPass subscription and in fact don’t even require the user to have a Plex Media Server.