It seems like Google is finally starting to take podcasts seriously. Last week, Google announced a redesign of the Google Podcasts app with a more intuitive layout and podcast recommendations. They also decided to finally launch the app on iOS. These significant changes now mean that Google might be able to compete with other podcast providers like Apple and Spotify.
The new Google Podcasts app now features three tabs across the bottom: Home, Explore, and Activity. The Home tab gives you a feed of the podcasts you are subscribed to so you can scroll through and see the latest episodes of each podcast. When you select an episode, a new section below the description will show topics and people covered in that episode. This audio interpretation technology is the same machine learning that allows you to more easily find podcasts that interest you when doing a Google Search.
The algorithm extends into the Explore tab where you can find popular shows, search for new podcasts, and see recommended shows based on your listening activity. The “For you” section will give you personalized recommendations, much like the curated playlists in Google Play Music. The other sections include common categories like Comedy, News, History, Technology.
As noted by The Verge, the new recommendations feature is similar to the Your Daily Podcast playlist functionality in Spotify. Finding podcasts has always been a struggle, but who better to sort and compile data to give you recommended results than Google? It’s kind of their expertise.
As you listen to more podcasts, the Activity tab will help you keep track of your playback queue, listening history, downloads, and subscriptions. As for downloads, there is also a feature that lets you automatically download new episodes of your favorite podcasts and even send you a push notification when new episodes come out. Just tap the “Subscribed” button on the podcast homepage and the options will show up on the bottom of the screen.
Google Podcasts for the web is also getting some much-needed attention with support for subscriptions. Now you can sync your listening progress and pick up where you left off on any devices. Unfortunately, the web platform is still very basic and doesn’t include the new layout or even Chromecast support. So if you want all the cool new features on your Chromebook, you will have to wait until Google either updates the web platform or adds Chromebook support to the Android app.
The new Google Podcasts app is now available on iOS and Android, along with the updated web platform. Give it a try and subscribe to The Chrome Cast, our weekly podcast about Chrome OS, Chromebooks, and the future of cloud computing.
Source: The Keyword