After breaching 50 million installs on Android and adding several new features in the past few months, Google Podcasts is becoming quite the contender to my original favorite app for listening – Pocket Casts. Now that Google has plunged into the wonderful future of progressive web applications, it’s attempting to bring its Podcasts web app up to date with its Android and iOS counterparts by syncing your listening progress and queue across devices on the web!
If you visit the website, you’ll notice that the previously absent ‘Queue’ button in the left-hand sidebar now makes an appearance, and upon clicking it, you’ll be presented with any and all shows you’ve saved to it on mobile. Furthermore, by tapping ‘Play’ on any podcast you previously listened to on the go or in your car, you’ll be taken to the exact moment you paused it or stopped listening prior.
Before this update, your queue would be completely empty on the web app or contain separately saved shows and always start you over from the beginning of an episode unless you stopped listening to it there last time you fired it up. Similarly, any shows you add to your queue on the web will now appear in the app on your phone or tablet.
In essence, what were once completely separate experiences – the app and the web app – are now almost completely unified, and that’s awesome. The one exception that Android Police found was that dragging and dropping to change the queue order for an episode on the app is not yet present on the website.
My hope is that the new grid-view for subscriptions that was recently added to the Android app will make an appearance on the PWA before long. There’s just something about how visually stimulating that is and not having it on larger screens in place of a text or title-based approach first is just frustrating.
Let me know in the comments if you have a preference, and whether or not you’re already seeing the new Queue feature on the web! Because PWAs are not locally packaged, server-side updates should roll out almost immediately, so my guess is that you’re all listening to your latest queued-up content already.