When Google first released its own Podcasts app back in 2018, it was a pretty bare-bones affair. Since then, however, the company has continued to iterate and add improvements, and the app managed to surpass 50 million downloads this month. The latest update enables something that power users have been asking for since day one: the ability to add podcasts via custom RSS feeds.
The feature should be live now on the mobile app and on the web, allowing users to view and subscribe to podcasts by manually entering the RSS feed link. In order to try it out for yourself, hit Activity in the bottom navbar and then head to the Subscriptions tab. From there, simply tap the three dots in the top right and choose the "Add by RSS feed" option.
It's easy to add your own podcast feeds — once you know where to go.
Things are a bit simpler on the web, where you'll just need to click the menu at the top left for “Add by RSS feed” to appear. Google says that once you've added an RSS feed, the show will appear right alongside others to which you're subscribed.
While Google Podcasts still has a ways to go before it can fully compete with competitors like Pocket Casts and Podcast Addict that offer more advanced controls and features, this is a step in the right direction that makes Google's solution a bit better at fulfilling the requirements of more users. If you find you're still unable to add custom RSS feeds, make sure you have the latest version of the Google app from APK Mirror or the Play Store, since that houses the functional aspects of the Podcasts app.