Podcasts have been another long-time struggle for Google which has resulted in multiple products over the years. From Google Listen to the latest rendition inside of Play Music, Google has never really found a successful home for the media.
The new app is now available via the Google Play Store and is essentially a shortcut to the recent addition of Podcasts found within the Search app. Within the app, you have some pretty basic functions you’d expect from a podcatcher. You can search, subscribe, and download your favorite shows. The app also adopts Google’s new Material Theme design and looks really slick. It feels right at home next to other apps with this UI like Google News.
As it literally just launched, there are some glaring missing options as well. You currently can’t auto download but it will delete completed or old episodes. There’s also no Android Auto integration as of yet other than initiating Assistant to play a podcast via voice.
That leads to another big aspect of Google’s take on podcasts which will be Search and AI. Google sees audio as a huge part of their Search future and how people use it will only add to the company’s strategy behind Assistant.
Personally, I’m a huge Pocketcasts user and can’t really see myself using Google Podcasts. I don’t use the Play Music option at all and find it really isn’t that great. I do hope that Google finds a way to offer a unique experience by leveraging their vast logs of data surrounding audio and user tendencies in general.