With more people now consuming podcasts than ever before, it kind of makes sense that Google Podcasts would see an uptick in downloads. It has, however, skyrocketed to the 100 million-downloads milestone over on the Google Play Store.
Not bad for an app that is effectively just a wrapper for the Google Search app that is pre-installed on all Android devices. That does mean that a “download” of the Google Podcast app is merely letting you access a specific portion of the Search app on your smartphone.
That said, it has developed from a barebones player and podcast management tool into a viable option for just listening to your favorite shows — provided they haven’t been bought out and moved to Spotify. It’s a fairly clean experience that has developed a fair bit since launching in 2018. One of the biggest bonuses is that because all of the shows you’re subscribed to are effectively linked to your Google account, you can pick up where you left off on Google Assistant-powered speakers and other Smart Displays.
Features like auto-downloads and the ability to add custom URLs have been welcome additions and no doubt helped boost the Google Podcast download figure over the past six months. It’s no secret that COVID-19 lockdowns have seen an explosion in the sheer volume of niche podcasts available to listen to. The ability to manage your subscriptions from desktop and mobile is one reason we highly recommend the Google Podcasts app even over many more “fully featured” alternatives.
For Google Podcasts to go from 50 to 100 million downloads in just six months is still mighty impressive (via Android Police). It also helps that it’s lightweight and completely free, with no features hidden behind a paywall. Granted, it’s not as feature-rich as the likes of Pocket Casts.
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More on Google Podcasts:
- Google Podcasts working on letting you fine-tune episode recommendations [APK Insight]
- [Update: Tweaks] Google Podcasts for Android gets redesigned Now Playing screen
- Google Podcasts web client adds simple subscriptions feed, matching Android and iOS
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