Google has quietly rolled out a new way for Android users to listen to podcasts and subscribe to the shows they love – and it’s already working on your phone.
Podcast production company Pacific Content got the exclusivity: Essentially, Google now shows podcast show information and episode listings in search results on your Android device, and you can access them directly from there. from there – no app installation is needed.
To get started, simply search for a show using Google Search or the Google Assistant with a query such as “bbc the survey podcast”.
You will receive information about the show and a list of recent episodes that you can start playing immediately; There’s also a podcast icon at the top of the page that takes you to your subscriptions and lets you add a shortcut to your home screen.
The podcast player comes with basic playback functionality and the ability to download episodes for offline listening, as well as speed control for those who want to browse shows. You can also subscribe to podcasts and have them appear in a list that you can cut whenever you want.
Plus, you can search and go back to episodes you haven’t finished listening to yet, and see a bunch of other shows grouped by genre and publisher; there are also recommendations that are popular with listeners to your subscribed podcasts. If you like voice commands, you’ll be happy to know that you can also search, play, and resume episodes on any of your Android or Assistant-powered devices.
While dedicated podcast apps offer more functionality and flexibility, this is a great way to start listening to shows you’ve heard of.
Google added podcast support to its Google Play Music streaming service in April 2016, and it looks like this is how the company is making podcasts more widely and easily accessible to Android users. This makes sense, considering the space has grown steadily over the past two years and marketers have dramatically increased their ad spend (from $ 69 million in 2015 to $ 220 million in 2017) accordingly.
It’s possible that this lightweight experience could eventually be incorporated into a standalone app that you can download from Google Play, but the company has yet to share any details about that – or even if it will be coming to iOS.
Ready to crack with your first podcast? We’ve rounded up some of our favorites for food nerds and crime buffs you can start with.
Are you using Google’s new podcast experience on Android, or do you already have a go-to favorite app for work? Let us know in the comments.
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