It looks like an updated Android app was just the start of Google’s plans for a podcast overhaul. Google has released its first version of Podcasts for iOS, giving users a way to listen to podcasts that sync with virtually any device where your Google account works. This new app is also a showcase for a larger redesign meant to not only help you find new shows, but satisfy curiosity about subjects mentioned in those shows.
For most of Android’s history, Google has treated podcasts as an afterthought. But this redesign is a big step forward. Google is finally giving the application a redesign and some much-needed features which are already found on third-party apps.
The revamped layout is divided into Home, Explore and Activity sections. Home gives you quick access to your subscribed shows. When you pick an episode, you’ll now see people and subjects referenced in that podcast, and tapping those will take you to a Google search to learn more. The tab starts with a scrollable carousel for your shows, which replaces the current grid layout. Instead of a barely visible blue “New” marker on the cover art, there is now a prominent red dot and cutout in the top-right.
The Explore tab helps you find shows based on categories, popularity and personal recommendations. Activity, meanwhile, displays your listening history, queue and automatic downloads.
The refreshed Android app is still rolling out and should reach all users this week. Google Podcasts may be a tougher sell on iOS when you already have a built-in podcast app, but it could help greatly if you regularly use multiple platforms and want to be sure your episodes are always available.