Today, Google has announced its Google Podcasts service is now available on iOS. This discovery-focused refresh is also rolling out to Android and the web. First launched in 2018, the Android-only Google Podcasts app allowed listeners to find and listen to podcasts, as well as sync their progress across Google products.
In a press release Zack Reneau-Wedeen, Product Manager at Google Podcasts said:
We’ve redesigned the Google Podcasts app to make it easier to discover podcasts you’ll love, build your list of go-to podcasts, and customize your listening. To support listeners on more platforms, we’re also bringing Google Podcasts to iOS for the first time and adding support for subscriptions on Google Podcasts for Web. Regardless of the platform you’re using, your listening progress will sync across devices, and you’ll be able to pick up right where you left off.
The new app is organized around three tabs: Home, Explore and Activity. The Home tab features a feed of new episodes and gives you quick access to your subscribed shows. When you select an episode you want to listen to, you’ll now see topics or people covered in that podcast, and you can easily jump to Google Search to learn more.
Launched last summer, the app quickly became the top podcasting app on Android, because, well, Google. There is been some limited cross-platform availability by way of a browser. Obviously, native app support is much more appealing for iPhone and iPad owners looking to see what kind of alternative Google is offering to Apple’s own popular Podcasts app.
The revamped version of the app is centered around discovery, broken up into three primary tabs. The “Home” tab features your current feeds and provides easy access to subscribed shows. In addition, it now shows topics, and people covered in individual shows and allows a user to quickly Google Search the subjects to learn more.
Google Podcasts – Updated UI (2020-Mar-25)
The “Explore” tab offers up popular and curated shows. It also features a ‘For You’ section that displays new show and episode recommendations based off of previous shows a user has listened to. The new focus on algorithmic recommendation is a particularly big move for Google, given that it is been one of Spotify’s biggest advantages. That said, if there is one thing Google is good at, it is compiling a huge amount of data on its users to recommend them new things. You can also tailor your personalized recommendations within the Explore tab.
Finally, the Activity tab offers a deeper dive into listening habits by tracking your listening history, queued episodes and downloads. Automatic downloads can also be enabled as can push notifications. And those on Android will now be able to enable automatic downloads, so new episodes for podcasts they subscribe to will be automatically downloaded for offline listening.
Moreover, Google is also revamping Google Podcasts for Web with support for subscriptions, allowing users to sync listening progress across devices. Users’ listening habits on the app will be synced across platforms by way of the Google Podcasts for Web.
The iOS version is available for download starting today. The Android update, meanwhile, will be rolling out to users this week. Honestly, though, the big news here is that the app is finally landing in the iOS App Store. Google Podcasts is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch and requires iOS 12.0 or later.