Google has been slowly dipping its toes into the warming podcast waters of the past few years, first bringing native support to Google Play Music and then, more recently, launching playback, curation, and downloads within the Google Feed.
Now, Google is launching a dedicated app for podcasts, and here's what you need to know!
The latest Google Podcasts news
June 19, 2018 — Google Podcasts launches on Android
Google is taking the wraps off its long-awaited Podcasts app, which is now available. The app, which is detailed below, syncs between Google Home devices and phones using Google Assistant.
What is Google Podcasts?
It's an app that's very similar to the functionality you'll find when searching for podcasts on the mobile web right now. That means Google not only finds the podcast you were searching for, but using what it calls "AI-powered features," it curates personalized recommendations of other shows that you'll like, too.
Where is it available?
Google says it's available in 47 Play Store languages. It should be available in your country, but if it isn't let us know in the comments below!
How many podcasts are there in Google Podcasts?
Around two million, according to Google, and that number should expand very quickly.
What's the interaction with Google Assistant and Google Home?
Glad you asked! For the first time, Google Podcasts will allow synchronization between a Google Home and your phone, since Assistant is the link between them. That means that if you're listening to a show on a Home and need to leave, you can continue listening on the phone.
Right now, the synchronization only appears to be one-directional. I can ask my Google Home to "resume playing 'This American Life'" and it picks up where my phone left off, but the progress doesn't appear to be synching back to my phone.
What other features does Google Podcasts have?
Not a whole lot. Once you start playing a podcast, you can tap to go back 10 seconds or forward 30 seconds. you can speed up or slow down playback between 0.5x and 2x. You can play and download podcasts for listening later on, and you can mark a podcast as played.
In the settings, you can decide when podcasts will be removed from your device, either after they're played or after they've been inevitably neglected.
Is there much of a difference between Google Podcasts in search and Google Podcasts the app?
Not really, but the latter is a bit more robust. Right now, podcasts in search is a bit hidden because it's only accessible when you search for a particular podcast and somehow, often accidentally, navigate to the main portal. It's not a great experience.
On the other hand, Google Podcasts is a native app that feels very much at home on a modern Android phone. It's designed with Material Theme, which helps it fit in with recent Google releases like Tasks, and there are more personalization elements.
How does Google Podcasts compare to popular Android apps like Pocket Casts and Stitcher?
It's a bit more bare bones, as most Google products are when they first launch, but the goal with Google Podcasts is to provide a unified experience between the phone and Google Assistant-based products like speakers.
Where can I download it?