Published On: Tue, Jun 19th, 2018

Google Podcasts app review

Apple has essentially owned podcasts given their inception. Hell, even a format’s name betrays a tighten tie to a company’s once entire player. At best, Google has reluctantly embraced a form, incorporating podcasts into a broader range of Play, heading many of Android’s billions of users to rest on third-party solutions.

There are copiousness of solutions out there, of march — Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts — clearly as many as there are podcasts. For whatever reason, Google has seemed calm to let a foe possess a category. Until now, that is. The association usually forsaken a simply patrician “Podcasts.” It’s accurately what you’d design from Google — a candid listening and browsing knowledge that prioritizes find above all else.

I asked Google because it was so late to a pull in terms of entirely embracing a medium. we never unequivocally got a good answer on that front, though a repute told me a association was driven to emanate a new standalone app interjection to a “explosion of creativity” that’s occurred in a past few years. Fair enough. The difficulty is positively in a midst of a renaissance, creation it one of a many sparkling party and informational mediums in a universe today.

And with a longtime idea of “organizing a world’s information,” positively Google is well-positioned to yield a singular use for a 500,000+ active podcasts out there. The new app’s goal matter is, fittingly, to “make it unequivocally easier for them to learn and listen to a podcasts they love.”

With that in mind, a app’s find resource is framed differently than Apple’s. In new years, Cupertino has pushed toward curation, employing editors to establish that properties to foster in a several channels. In a box of a iOS podcast app, that generally means that a many renouned programs are pushed to a top. Publishers like NPR or ESPN tend to get favoured treatment. And a algorithms that control a tip podcast lists are anyone’s guess.

That’s all good and good for first-time listeners. That demeanour of curation generally does a good pursuit assuring that featured shows belong to a certain expectancy of quality. But podcasting is among a many insinuate forms of communication — a substitute for a tighten review with friends. Certainly it stands to reason that recommendations ought to be tailored to listeners in a approach that respects that relationship.

Of course, a initial time we record into a app, Google’s recommendations are anything but. The page that greets we is sincerely generic. You’ve got all of a common “top podcast” subjects in there — This American Life, Radiolab, Serial. You know a understanding — if your primogenitor who’s never listened to a podcast has brought it adult in infrequent conversation, it’s substantially in there.

Once we start subscribing to shows, however, a home page shifts accordingly. According to Google, “a few factors, such as your listening habits and a podcasts we allow to.” That means, theoretically, that it continues to get improved a some-more shows we listen to and allow — and a some-more others use it, as well.

I’ve usually had a brief time with a app; so distant recommendations still feel a bit general — things like “Top Podcasts by NPR” and “Popular with Listeners of Stop Podcasting Yourself.” There are also kinks here — my crony Robin does a choice comics podcast Inkstuds, so a app endorsed a garland of other shows by people also named Robin. That strikes me as a really bizarre approach to select podcasts. Maybe it’s usually me.

There’s also no rating complement on-board yet. The underline is expected coming, and will substantially go a ways toward assisting customize those recommendations. It’s one of a series of facilities that usually weren’t prepared during launch time. Google’s also experimenting with debate to content podcast transcriptions as a approach of both providing additional metadata to yield and charity adult destiny facilities like sealed captioning for users with conference loss. That could be large for a incomparable intensity assembly that simply isn’t served by a audio-based format.

There’s a lot of room for alleviation here, though Podcasts is a plain initial effort. The interface is packaged though being overwhelming. The shows we allow to stock a grid adult top. Below this, they’re distant by New Episodes, In Progress and Downloads. It’s a good approach of portion adult a lot of information, all during once, distinct a Apple app, that seems to make that some-more formidable with any update.

When a uncover is playing, it pops adult in a tiny margin during a bottom of a screen, that we can appropriate adult to enlarge. There’s a time scrubber, 10-second rewind and 30-second fast-forward. And yes, there’s a speed feature, for all we weirdos who listen to podcasts during 2x. Google’s charity a lot of customization on that front, with 15 opposite time increments between 0.5 and 2.0 speed.

There isn’t a lot to heed Podcasts, though it’s a plain initial gash during a category. Google would expected be a initial to acknowledge that there’s room for alleviation here, and formed on my conversations with a company, it seems they have a lot designed on that front. Among other things, a association is looking into charity deeper analytics like a kind Apple recently rolled out.

In a meantime, it’s positively value a download for Android users who have been looking for another approach to listen to their stories. And if you’re looking for a place to get started, because not check out one of these excellent TechCrunch podcasts. 

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