Google Podcasts is readying a notable Material Theme redesign as revealed by the latest Google app beta. The changes are primarily focussed on updating the audio player, but the service is also working on “personalized recommendations.”
About APK Insight: In this ‘APK Insight’ post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.
The audio player receives the bulk of Material Theme changes in the upcoming revamp we enabled. Instead of a short panel that only takes up a third of your screen, it nearly covers the entire display. This allows for full cover art, while episode and podcast names are now shown below. The panel itself now features a stark white background — instead of gray — befitting of the Material Theme and features rounded corners with a marker to drag down.
Rewind/forward and play/pause controls are next, while the progress bar is underneath. At the very bottom of the screen are controls to speed up playback, sleep timer, info, and a new overflow menu. The latter features shortcuts to “Share” and “Mark as played,” with both actions previously requiring users to visit the full episode page.
“Playback speed” settings have been reworked and now slide up from the bottom of the screen with other controls grayed out. In addition to the bar that allows users to choose increments between 0.5x and 3.0x, there are now five common defaults to quickly apply. The “Sleep timer” is similarly reworked.
There are also a handful of other changes in Google Podcasts. On the homescreen, the overflow menu has been replaced by your profile avatar. Tapping slides up another bottom panel with a Material Theme account switcher and other menu items: Edit your podcasts, Settings, and Send app feedback. The mini-player docked at the bottom of your screen looks the same, but drops the time remaining and opts just for a visual indicator.
As part of what we enabled today, Google is still working on Auto Downloading.
The two primary Google Podcasts Material Theme changes are not yet live, but Google app 10.57 does tweak the play icon in the playback notification to use the same one as the audio player. Meanwhile, strings reveal an upcoming “personalized recommendations” feature for both shows and individual episodes.
<string name=”recommendations_promo_card_browse_podcasts”>Browse podcasts</string>
<string name=”recommendations_promo_card_episode_title”>Looking for a great episode?</string>
<string name=”recommendations_promo_card_episode_subtitle”>View personalized recommendations based on what you like to listen to</string>
<string name=”recommendations_promo_card_show_title”>Looking for new podcasts?</string>
<string name=”recommendations_promo_card_show_subtitle”>View personalized recommendations and discover great shows to subscribe to</string>
Dylan Roussel contributed to this article