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Hands-on: Official Google Podcasts app now available in the Play Store
Hot on the heels of an accidental leak, the official Google Podcasts app has made its way to the Google Play Store.
At first glance, the app looks like any other podcast app — you can search for new podcasts if you know what you want to listen to, and all the podcasts you’re subscribed to can be found at the top of the home screen. You can also download episodes.
What sets Google Podcasts apart from other podcasts apps? Like almost all of Google’s other products, Podcasts will be powered by some AI smarts. I say will be because Google says it will roll out the AI-driven features in the coming months. These AI features include the ability to read along with a podcast via automatic transcription, and the ability to read what’s coming up next in the episode if you’re looking to save some time. You’ll also receive proactive suggestions for material relating to a given episode if you want to learn more about that topic.
Maybe the coolest part of the Google Podcasts app is the fact that it’s fully integrated with Google Assistant. You can start playing a podcast on your phone, then pick up right where you left off on your Google Home, and vice versa.
Power users may not want to use Google Podcasts yet.
There are a few notable things missing from Google Podcasts that power users might miss. You can’t add episodes to playlists, so you’ll have to tell the app to play the next episode every time one finishes. Also, there’s no way to import a podcast RSS feed, so you can’t access podcasts that are behind a paywall. For instance, I pay the creators of Star Wars Minute monthly to receive bonus episodes, but I can’t listen to those through Google Podcasts.
Right now there are more than 2 million podcasts available in the app, and more will be available every day.
What are you waiting for?! Download the Google Podcasts app at the Play Store link below. If the link isn’t live for you yet, you may have to wait — The Verge reports that it’ll be available at around 12 p.m. ET.