Google Podcasts isn't the most feature-rich podcast app out there, but it sure is clean, streamlined, and does a wonderful job of stripping away bells and whistles for a more focused, less cluttered experience.
For so long, it's only been available on Android, but now iOS folks can join in the fun as well, and it's also available on Desktop. When searching for a podcast title on Google, results will prioritize Google Podcasts above anything else, bringing up a list of most recent episodes, clicking one of which will take the user directly to the Google Podcasts web version to listen.
This works in mobile too. A dedicated Google Podcasts app for iOS has yet to be released, but this is the next best thing.
Google Podcasts Hits The Web, iOS
This isn't the first time his web player has made an appearance, as publications caught a glimpse of it back in March. It features a similar set of controls as on the main app for Android. Users can skip forward and backward and adjust the playback speed. They can also sync their playback data provided they log in using a Google Account. Google Podcasts for web is live now.
The biggest downside here is that users can only browse episodes from a single podcasts, meaning there's currently no way to browse different podcasts directly on the site, which might be indicative that this is merely an early release. Hopefully, Google touches this up more going forward.
Google's desktop launch for its Podcasts app is similar to Apple recently updating the web interface for its own Podcasts web app, allowing users to play episodes directly on that site instead of being redirected to iTunes. Apparently, the change is part of Apple's suspected plans to break off iTunes-dependent services into standalone apps, including Podcasts, Music, TV, and others.
Podcasts On Search Results
Google has other changes in store to bring people closer to podcasts. At its I/O developer conference, the company said search results will soon show podcasts episodes relevant to what the user searched for. If, say, they searched about the solar system, podcasts about science — particularly about the solar system — will be among the search results. That's a pretty neat way to get content all in one place. Google also shows YouTube videos, Spotify links, and more on Search.
Google Podcasts is available to download on Android.
Do you use Google Podcasts? How has your experience with it been so far? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!