Changes have been afoot with Google and podcasts for many months. Cody has discovered sign after sign of the Google app adding podcast support, there was a long exposé of Google's podcast plans a couple of months ago, and podcast subscription and management then downloads started showing up. The wait is over now and it seems that Google is finally ready to reveal its podcast app and plans.
Before you get over-excited, this new Google Podcasts "app" appears to be the same podcast functionality that's been there in the Google app and that we've covered before, with a few more recent changes that started rolling out with the latest beta. The app itself, which should go live on the Play Store at this link, is merely a quick way to launch the functionality inside the Google app, acting the same way the Google Lens and Google Assistant shortcuts do.
The new bits of information we can glance from a Product Hunt page for Google Podcasts that likely went live a little too early are that it will be available in the Play Store for 47 languages globally, has 2 million podcasts indexed, offers personalized recommendations that get better with time, syncs progress through Assistant so you can listen on phones and Google Homes, and is only for Android now. I don't have an iOS device to check, but common sense says you should be able to search for any podcast in Google Search on your iPhone or iPad and get part of the functionality.
If you haven't checked Google's built-in podcasts in a while, then you probably should. Compared to a few months ago, the interface that started rolling a few days ago is newer with Material Theme elements all over, a new For You tab with recent/playing/downloaded episodes, more colorful playback notifications, better-placed download buttons, play and download icons that show progress, and more. However, there is still a lot of functionality missing like automatic downloads, playlist organization, and silence removal, to name a few.
To try it out, simply search for any podcast in the Google app, tap the More episodes text below the list of recent episodes, and then tap the colorful icon on the top left. You should get a banner asking you if you want to add podcasts to your homescreen. From then on, you can easily get to it through that shortcut.
An official announcement is likely around the corner, so we'll keep an eye out for it and for the app listing to go live in the Play Store.
Just as we were expecting, the Google Podcasts app has finally become available in the Play Store. You can directly install it there for your Android device, or manually load the software with the help of APKMirror.
And now Google is wrapping things up with its formal announcement of the new Podcasts app.
In doing so, the company talks about efforts it's taking to promote diversity among podcast creators, while also updating its developer guidelines with info on optimizing podcast visibility.
Finally, we get a little teaser on where Podcasts is headed next, with word that automatic subtitling (with multi-language support) could be in our future.
Google has updated its product support pages to detail the functionality present in the Podcasts app. As the new app just appears to point to the podcast support already in the main Google search app, there are no surprises here.
- Product Hunt
- Binoy Xavier Joy,
- Lachlan Harris