As far as podcast-listening clients go, Google Podcasts still lacks a fair amount of functionality when compared to the competition. Today, Google's taking a step towards doing something about that by adding a new feature that could encourage users to spend more time listening to and discovering podcast content within the app: personalized recommendations.
From the Google Podcasts homescreen, you may notice a new Recommended tab to the right of the Downloads section. Here, you'll find an automatically populated list of podcast episodes that Google predicts you may be interested in based on past listening habits.
The fact that these recommendations focus on individual episodes instead of an entire podcast feed indicates an increased level of granularity to Google's suggestions — whether or not these recommendations are any more helpful or accurate remains to be seen. One positive aspect of these hyper-specific recommendations is that users can sample suggested episodes directly from the Recommended tab without having to subscribe or navigate to the podcast's main feed.
It may be some time before you get to try this new feature out as it appears to be based on one of Google's notoriously unpredictable server-side rollouts and isn't currently showing up for me on the latest version of Google Podcasts.
- Ramit Suri