This story was originally published and last updated .
Explaining which services Google Assistant supports and in which form isn't an easy feat. While it might be compatible with many music and podcast players on your phone, it only supports a limited list of approved services on speakers and other smart devices. That list was limited to music streamers only (YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, iHeartRadio,...). Now, podcast services seem to be getting the same treatment.
A new Podcasts section showed up under Assistant's settings (here's how to get to them) earlier this week. At first, the only options there were Google Podcasts and "No default provider," but since Google wouldn't have added this section unless it had planned to include more choices later, we were holding out hope.
Thankfully, we didn't have to wait long and the first third-party option has popped up in the form of Spotify. It should be compatible with both free and premium accounts, however, no matter how much I try, I can't get it to work for me. Assistant recognizes that it should play my podcasts from Spotify, but it fails after a few seconds every time, no matter which command I use, and tells me twice, "Sorry, something went wrong. When you're ready, give it another try." I don't know if that error is caused by my confusing location (in Lebanon, with a French Spotify Premium account, and Assistant set to US English) or by the fact that the feature isn't fully ready yet. In that case, it might become functional soon.
Left: Podcasts section in Assistant Settings. Middle: Services earlier this week. Right: Services now.
If you pick Google Podcasts, you'll be able to keep track of what you're listening to across devices and smart speakers. Hopefully this same courtesy will be given to all third-party providers once they're added. Personally, I'd love to see Pocket Casts there, but I'm sure many of you have their own favorite service that they'd like to see as well.
Spotify has announced that its Assistant integration for podcasts is now live in English. I tried it again and this time, the command worked. I was able to "play my podcasts," which resumed my most recently played episode right where I'd stopped it, as well as ask for a specific show and listen to the latest episode.
- Benjamin Winig,
Image: Pacific Content