In recent APK Insights, we’ve spotted the Google app working on more advanced podcast functionality. This revamped built-in experience is now rolling out with features like an app icon, centralized management, and the ability to search a directory of shows.
Back in 2016, the Google for Android added very basic podcast features. Users could find shows from Google Search, sift through episodes, and listen with a basic audio player that featured a system playback notification.
This revamped podcast functionality (via Android Police) adds more discovery features like a centralized homepage that lists shows you’ve subscribed to and a “Continue listening” section to quickly return to where you left off.
The page also includes a directory with a carousel of top podcasts in various categories and a dedicated search feature in the app bar. From the overflow menu, you can add an app icon to your homescreen and edit/delete subscriptions.
Otherwise, the experience remains unchanged. With the list of episodes still displaying show notes, and the audio player allows you to adjust playback speed from .5x to 2.0x and quickly scrub backwards or forwards.
The Google app will sync playback position with all your devices, including other Android phones and Google Home. At the moment, it is live on most (but not all) of the devices we’ve checked running the latest stable and beta version of Google for Android.
For most users, the Google podcast app will be enough and has the key advantage of syncing with Google Home, while being accesible through Assistant’s voice commands. It comes after the launch of Routines, with this mini app of sorts joining the excellent Google Weather.