What Is the Google Podcasts App?

The free standalone podcast app for Android

Google Podcasts (formerly Google Play Podcasts) is Google's standalone app for podcasts. The free app for Android and iOS is integrated with both Google Assistant and Google Home and is fairly minimalist, sporting an uncluttered interface and a handful of features.

The Google Podcasts app is just one of many podcast apps for Android. A goal of Google's is to use artificial intelligence to improve the listening experience.

How Google Podcasts Works

The Google Podcasts home screen displays available podcasts sorted into categories, such as Trending, Society & Culture, and Comedy. After subscribing and listening to podcasts, your home page changes to show more targeted recommendations based on your listening activity.

Choose any podcast from the home screen to learn more and see recent episodes, then tap Subscribe if you like what you see. Some podcasts, such as those from NPR, also have a Donate button you can use to support the podcast.

Google Podcasts app.

Podcasts you subscribe to are listed at the top of your home screen. From there, you'll find lists of new episodes, episodes you're currently listening to but aren't quite finished with, and all your downloaded episodes.

From the episode description page, play the episode, download it, or mark it as played.

When you begin playing a podcast through Google Podcasts, you'll see a small module at the bottom of the screen with the podcast logo, the episode name, and some playback controls.

To unsubscribe from a podcast, go to the podcast's page and select Subscribed, and then select Unsubscribe.

Google Podcasts Features

The Google Podcasts app has several useful features, including downloading episodes for offline listening and syncing podcasts across devices to quickly resume an episode. In addition to Android and iOS, you can also browse through podcasts and listen to them on the web.

Due to its integration with Google Assistant, you can use Google's voice commands to control Google Podcasts. A few examples:

  • Play This American Life
  • Listen to the latest episode of The Sporkful
  • Next episode
  • Pause
  • What's playing?"

If you listen to a podcast while commuting and you still have an episode to finish when you get home, transfer the audio to your Google Home. Just say "Hey Google, play This American Life," and it resumes the episode from where you left off.

Google is also working on a speech-to-text transcription tool to add closed captioning for those with hearing impairments and aims to translate that into multiple languages.