Google Launches Podcast Listening App on Android

Google launched its very own podcast app Tuesday, giving Android users yet another way to listen to their favorite podcasts. Google Podcasts, as the app is aptly called, is integrated with the company’s assistant, making it possible to listen to the same shows on Google Home speakers and similar devices.

Google Podcasts promises access to over 2 million podcasts, and launches with some basic personalization to recommend shows based on your past listening. For that, Google is actually tapping into some of the data it has gathered with its assistant: Anyone who has listened to a podcast via their Google Home speaker or the Google Assistant on their phone in the past will find the app pre-populated with listening suggestions.

Other than those recommendations and a few charts, the app doesn’t offer much in a way of a catalog to browse through, instead relying on search for users to find the shows they want. Users also have the option to search the web for shows not yet indexed by Google, and add them to the app.

Google Podcasts synchronizes listening across multiple devices, allowing users to start a show on their phone on the go, and then finish it on their Google smart speaker at home. Curiously, there is no integration with Chromecast yet, so you won’t be able to cast a show to a Chromecast-equipped speaker.

That being said, Google seems to be open about the app being a work in progress. Engadget reported Tuesday that Google plans to add artificial intelligence-powered features in the coming months, including the ability to read transcripts of podcasts in multiple languages. This will reportedly also allow listeners to jump ahead to the topic of their choice.

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