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Woo-hoo! We Now Have Audio in the Medium iOS App

Hopefully, this is the first of many improvements

Alan AJ
3 min readMay 18, 2022

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Two screen shots of the Medium app’s new audio feature. One shows the pop-up menu which includes AirPlay and voice selection. The other shows the variable playback speed.
Some screens in the updated Medium app which relate to the new audio feature. Screenshot by the author, Autistic Widower.

Yesterday, I received an email from Medium, and I’m glad I read it.

It said the latest iOS mobile app now supports audio.

That means iPhone users can now listen to stories. I updated my phone right away, and it looks like a useful addition.

Included features:

  • over 20 voices to choose from
  • skip forward 30 seconds
  • go back 10 seconds
  • speed range of 0.1x — 4.5x
  • AirPlay support

How to use it

When you open a story, there is a small play icon at the top of the screen.

Once you start it playing, a small region across the bottom of the screen lets you pause, play, and close. You can also tap to bring up the main ‘now playing’ screen for more options.

On that screen, you have options along the bottom such as speed, and a menu for things like voice selection and AirPlay.

Minor problem

We’ve had the option to listen to stories for quite a while when using the Medium website, and it’s a feature I use quite often.

Sadly, when I tried the new app on my phone, I ran into the same minor annoyance I have with the web version. Occasionally, it pauses for about 3 seconds for no apparent reason.

I suspect certain punctuation marks affect it, or perhaps there might be invisible characters left behind when an author has edited their story. Some articles do it, and some don’t.

When I use the standard screen reader on my laptop, I don’t have the same problems. But the Medium one is more convenient to use, so I often choose to tolerate the occasional delays.

Final thoughts

When Medium recently removed the facility to create and edit stories in their app, I was very disappointed. It seemed like a big step backwards.

This recent change gives me hope that, even if they don’t bring back the edit option, we might at least see some other improvements over the coming months.

Have you tried listening to stories on Medium using your iPhone yet?

Thank you for reading!

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Alan AJ

Random life stories, opinions, and a dry sense of humour. A 55-year-old former electronics engineer and programmer in England. Previously 'Autistic Widower'.