Google is starting to take its Podcasts app a little more seriously today: The company is reportedly implementing a more advanced design for Android users, and is launching the app on iOS for the first time (also with the new design). , via Engadget. It’s a movement that configures Google Podcasts to better compete with more established podcast providers like Apple, Overcast, or Spotify.
The new design, which 9to5Google spotted earlier in the weekend, adds numerous features to Google Podcasts, focused on the new three-tab interface. The main home screen now focuses on the shows you are already subscribed to, offering a scrollable source of new episodes with quick links to download, play or queue directly from the home page. The discovery and recommendation functions have been divided into a new tab called “Explore”, while a third “Activity” feed allows you to view and manage your current playlist, listening history, downloads and subscriptions.
There’s also a feature that will automatically download new episodes of shows when they launch and support for notifications of new episode availability, critical features that other apps have offered for years.
The new focus on algorithmic recommendation is a particularly big move for Google, given that it has been one of Spotify’s biggest advantages (through its Your Daily Podcast playlist, which aims to replicate the success of the popular hit list. Playing the company’s Discovery Weekly recommendation with podcasts, as well as other algorithm-selected recommendations.) That said, if there is anything Google is good at, it is compiling a lot of data about its users to recommend new things to them.
Not only Android and iOS are benefiting from the update; Google is also revamping Google Podcasts for the Web with subscription support, allowing users to sync listening progress across devices. It also gives Google a viable desktop platform to compete with companies like Apple and Spotify, which offer similar sync features within their native apps.
The new Google Podcasts are available now on iOS and the web, with the Android update launching this week.
Correction: Google Podcasts are available now on iOS and on the web, not tomorrow, as originally stated in this article.