Google has rolled out a new feature that makes it easier for users to listen to podcasts on Android smartphones. The search giant never really had a great solution for podcasts as Android users had to look for other apps to manage their subscriptions. It does not have a dedicated podcast management app outside of Google Play Music. But, with the new feature, Android users can listen and subscribe to podcasts directly from Google Search, without the need for any app installation.
As per a podcast production company Pacific Content, Google is now showing information about podcast shows and episode listings in search results on Android handsets. Gadgets 360 has been able to verify that with the new feature, you can tune into the podcasts right from the search results.
With Google I/O coming up, an app is possibly underway. "Since our first launch, we've seen a surprising number of people return through search day in and day out. That's why we felt the need to build out a full-featured podcast player and make the experience easier to access," Zack Reneau-Wedeen, Google Podcasts' product manager, told Pacific Content.
Android smartphone users can now pull up podcasts with a quick Google search. You will have to type the name of the show into Google and the first result should be an info card. It has links to immediately play the latest episodes. This Podcasts shortcut leads you to a personalised podcast 'homebase.' Here, you can listen to new episodes and search for fresh podcasts with custom recommendations, based on your preferences. Also, you can tap on Add to home screen to get a Podcasts shortcut for quick access.
Additionally, you can also play the podcasts on Google Home using the Google Assistant. Just say "OK Google, play the Command Line Heroes podcast." Notably, the feature works on both Google Home as well as Android handsets. Google also syncs the subscriptions and episodes across devices. This essentially means that you can it will pick up exactly where you left off, irrespective of which device you use.
On the other hand, Apple had launched its dedicated podcast app for iOS in 2012, and Google knows it has fallen behind in this segment. Reneau-Wedeen said, "The majority of people who listen to podcasts do so on an iPhone. It's actually so egregious that on a device-by-device basis, the average iPhone listens to over ten times more podcasting than the average Android."