Google Podcasts is Live

Posted on June 19, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Cloud, Google, Music + Videos, Smart Home with 8 Comments

Google has released its new Podcasts app globally to the Play Store, giving Android users another option for listening to audio content.

“Integrated with the Google Assistant across your devices and packed with personalized recommendations, Google Podcasts is designed to make it easier than ever for Android users to discover and listen to podcasts,” Google’s Zack Reneau-Wedeen explains. “With Google Podcasts, you can listen and subscribe to any podcast. Beyond the podcasts you already know, Google Podcasts uses AI to offer recommendations based on your listening habits, such as your interest in sports or true crime, or podcasts from a particular network.”

As I noted in my earlier hands-on article, Google Podcasts doesn’t support episode downloading. But it does sync your progress across devices, so you can do things like listen to an episode in the car and then finish it using a Google Home smart speaker at home.

Google doesn’t address downloading—which is necessary for offline usage—but it says it will be improving its podcast experience over time with AI.

“As speech-to-text technology continues to improve, we’ll be able to provide new features like automatic subtitling, which is especially helpful if you are hearing impaired or in a noisy area without headphones,” Reneau-Wedeen says. “Powered by Google Translate, subtitles can then be made available in a wide variety of languages, further improving access to podcasts.”

You can download Google Podcasts for Android from the Google Play Store. No word yet on whether it’s coming to iPhone, but I assume so.


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