After the Now Playing screen got updated earlier this year, the rest of the Google Podcasts is getting a revamp. The changes aren’t major, but there are a number of great usability upgrades for longtime users. 

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 changes start on the “Home” feed where your carousel of podcasts is now labeled, thus allowing a “More” button to be added at the right. This opens a new “Subscriptions” page that leverages a grid view.

In doing so, Google is addressing one big complaint from users that follow a lot of shows. Currently, swiping through a carousel is not the fastest way to find a specific podcast.

Meanwhile, the feed of unplayed episodes in “Home” adds an overflow in the bottom-right corner of each item. It lets you quickly “Mark as played,” something that previously required opening the episode page and then the top-right corner menu.

Another change today sees the “Activity” tab renamed to “Library.” It’s a more familiar convention, but results in Google dropping the tab layout for a list view to access the aforementioned Subscriptions, Queue, Downloads, and History. Nothing is too different here, but the inability to quickly swipe between each list is unfortunate (like in the first screenshot below).

This Google Podcasts revamp is not yet widely rolled out with Google app 12.19, and is still being tested internally among employees. It’s not clear when it will launch, but it contains a handful of good enhancements for existing users and simplifications for newer ones.

We’ve yet to spot any new features in this redesign. Google is due to provide an update on its podcasting efforts as competitors like Apple (paid subscriptions) and Spotify have been making big moves in recent months.

More about Google Podcasts:

Kyle Bradshaw contributed to this post

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, from which some APK Insight teardowns benefit.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author