I’m not a big podcast listener like I used to be before the pandemic. I hardly drive my car anymore, and my life has become less formed around long trips where I would need to fill dead air with something entertaining, but non-visual. With that said, I still love the collection of Google Podcast subscriptions that I’ve curated over the years, and I always check back on my favorites from time to time. Aside from The Chrome Cast podcast (which you should be listening to!) I’m usually just spending all of my time on Youtube instead.
However, when there’s an update to the Podcasts app, I still get excited because having it alongside my Play Books, Youtube Music, Youtube, and other content-centric apps from Google is still something I enjoy. It just feels complete, ya know? This week on Android, Google Podcasts was updated to show your subscriptions in a grid view layout instead of the detailed list view.
This is significant because it’s highly visual, and with each piece of content appearing as a card with an image, it lines up with what the company is doing across all of its other services. I know this may seem trivial, but I’ve always been frustrated with the lack of a grid view in the app, and can finally update my Google Play Store review to reflect its inclusion.
Along with this, several other improvements accompanied the update as well, such as the ability to share or ‘mark as played’ any episode found on the home screen, the Explore tab coming out of beta, and most importantly, the ‘Activity’ tab is now labeled ‘Library’. This should more accurately reflect what it is – a place to house all of your content, and not necessarily just a log of what you’ve already listened to.
The update is rolling out now for many, but if you still didn’t receive it, you may be able to get the redesign by force quitting the app as mentioned by 9to5Google. With Google Podcasts breaching the 50 million installs mark on the Play Store, it’s nice to see Google continuing to find new ways to update the experience. Unfortunately, these changes – especially grid view for subscriptions – is not yet active on the web, so if you’re a Chromebook user, you’ll either have to wait to see what’s to come or install the Android version.