Google is starting to take its Podcasts app a bit more seriously: the application developed by Google and released on June 18, 2018 for Android devices, is reportedly rolling out a more advanced design to Android users and launching the app on iOS on 25 of March 2020 for the first time (also featuring the new design), via Engadget. It’s a move that sets Google Podcasts up to better compete with more established podcast providers like Apple, Overcast, or Spotify.
The timing is perfect considering we are grounded at home due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The new design, which 9to5Google spotted rolling out early over the weekend, adds numerous features to Google Podcasts, centered on the new three-tab interface. The main Home screen is now focused on shows you already subscribe to, offering a scrollable feed of new episodes with quick links to download, play, or queue up directly from the homepage. Discovery and recommendation features have been broken out into a new tab called “Explore,” while a third “Activity” feed lets you view and manage your current playback queue, listening history, downloads, and subscriptions.
There’s also a feature that will automatically download new episodes of shows when they’re released, and support for notifications for new episode availability — critical features that other apps have offered for years.
It’s not just Android and iOS that are benefiting from the update; Google is also revamping Google Podcasts for Web with support for subscriptions, allowing users to sync listening progress across devices.