Google is getting better at helping you keep track of your favorite podcasts. Google first brought podcast support to Google Play Music in 2016, at which point users were able to search for and play podcasts straight from Search. Now, it looks like Google will be both improving podcast support from the Google app, and bringing some of that functionality to Google Assistant — meaning you’ll be able to manage your podcasts using only your voice.
According to a report from Android Police, Google is rolling out improved podcast support to the Google app now. Once live, you’ll find that searching for podcasts will show a new “Subscribe” button right below the name and icon of the podcast. You’ll also be able to tap on the “More episodes” tab to see a list of the episodes, as well as to subscribe, and to add an icon for the podcast to your home screen.
There are even more features for podcasts in general. For example, if you tap on the podcast icon on the top left of the display, you’ll see a list of all the podcasts you’re subscribed to, as well as trending podcasts, and a card to continue podcasts you were listening to earlier. You can also add shortcuts to specific podcasts to your home screen, or add a shortcut to a list of all your podcasts.
What may be even cooler is how you can control these features using Google Assistant. For example, you can ask Assistant to “continue last played podcast,” meaning you don’t have to go digging around within the app to find the podcast and continue playing it.
The new podcast section could still use some tweaking. For starters, we can’t find a way to download podcasts just yet, a feature that could be very useful for users who don’t have unlimited data plans or who often find themselves in areas with little data coverage. It would also be nice for there to be a desktop version of the feature — especially for those who use their computer to work and want to be able to listen through it instead of through their phone. Still, it is nice to see Google giving podcasts some much-need TLC — after all, Google Play Music’s podcast support is a little limited.
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