After getting a brief tease only last week and many Google app updates, a brand new app has been announced by Google. This week, Google is rolling out Google Podcasts– a dedicated podcast mobile application for Android users. The search giant managed to keep this a secret until a week ago, and most Android device owners will be able to download the app on their mobile by the end of the week.
Unlike Apple, Google didn’t have a standalone app to hold only podcasts. Rather, podcasts were scattered throughout several Google services including a small section in Play Music and the new YouTube Music app. Either because Play Music might be going away, or simply because a standalone podcasts app was the only app Google didn’t have, Google Podcasts was created as its own app. In a lot of ways, it’s very similar to what happened with audio books earlier in the year, which now have their own place. This move was long overdue, despite some great third-party options available in the Play Store.
Google Podcasts syncs between all your devices using your Google account and will also be able to output audio through the Google Assistant on supported devices like Google Home speakers. This means you can start a podcast on one device and finish up on another. This is one of the benefits to being in the Google ecosystem of products. Overall, the app is fast and clean with lots of white backgrounds and rounded shapes just like most other Google apps. In fact, it’s quite reminiscent of the new Google News app and has similar functions too. It’s easy to set up and use because there isn’t a whole lot going on as of right now, though Google could have plans to do more with a future update. Like most standard podcast apps, Google’s own podcast app lets you download episodes for offline listening. I also presume there will be AI suggestions based on habits and what Google learns about you from its services.
I’ve tried out the dedicated app on my phone and while I think it’s convenient and has potential, it’s minimal right now and doesn’t offer anything beyond what existing podcast apps do already. Once partners get on board, I’m sure we’ll see the library begin to expand with more variety. Google Podcasts has started appearing in several countries for download at the link below in brackets. The app is free to download, though we suspect there will be both paid and free podcast options in the app. Give it a spin and drop any thoughts in the comment section.