Google Podcasts is Finally Growing Up

Posted on May 15, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Google, Music + Videos with 23 Comments

Images courtesy of Android Police

Google Podcasts is finally adding that most basic of features: The ability to auto-download new episodes of subscribed podcasts.

I know. It’s like expecting a word processor to perform basic spell-checking. But until today, Google Podcasts offered no way to automatically download new episodes. Now, it does. Or, it can. Apparently, this feature is rolling out to users via some indeterminate schedule. I’m not seeing it yet. But Android Police has the screenshots to prove it.

In previous versions of Google Podcasts, you could configure the app to remove complete and unfinished podcast episodes on some schedule. With the new version, there is a new Auto Downloading option that lets you determine whether to automatically download new podcast episodes, whether to do so over Wi-Fi only, and to configure individual podcasts for auto-downloading. You know, like a Big Boy podcast app.

Google launched Google Podcasts in mid-2018. I really like the look and feel of the app, but its inability to auto-download new episodes made it a non-starter. So I’ll be sticking to Castbox for now. But I could see going to Google Podcasts soon, assuming this works as expected. The Google account integration—and with related Google devices like Google Home—will be nice. We’ll see.

You can download Google Podcasts from the Google Play Store.

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