Google has started to take its Podcasts app a bit more seriously now as it is reportedly rolling out a new more advanced design to Android users and also launching the app on iOS for the very first time. It’s a move that sets Google Podcasts up to better compete with more established podcast apps like Apple, Overcast, or Spotify.
The new design, which 9to5Google spotted will be rolling out early over the weekend, adds numerous features to Google Podcasts, centered on the new three-tab interface. The Home screen is now focused on shows you already subscribe to, offering a scrollable feed of new episodes with quick links to download, play, or queue up directly from the homepage. Discovery and recommendation features have been broken out into a new tab called “Explore,” while a third “Activity” feed lets you view and manage your current playback queue, listening history, downloads, and subscriptions.
There’s likewise feature that will consequently download new episodes of shows when they’re released, and support for notifications for new episode availability — critical features that other apps have offered for years.
The new algorithmic recommendation is a particularly big move for Google, given that it’s been one of Spotify’s biggest advantages. That said, if there’s one thing Google is good at, it’s compiling an enormous amount of data on its users to recommend them new things.
It’s not just Android and iOS that are benefiting from the update; Google is also revamping Google Podcasts for Web with support for subscriptions, 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 syncing features within their own native apps.
Google Podcasts is available now on iOS and the web.