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After years of ignoring the medium, Google is finally taking podcasting seriously. To that end, the company has released a standalone app called Google Podcasts. Which, as you may have guessed from the name, is an app dedicated to podcasts.
What Is Google Podcasts?
In a nutshell, Google Podcasts lets you listen to podcasts. You can search for the podcasts you already know and love, and subscribe to your heart’s content. Or, if you’re keen to hear more, you can let Google recommend podcasts based on your listening habits.
— Google (@Google) June 19, 2018
As detailed on The Keyword, Google Podcasts syncs across different Google products, including Google Assistant. Google will remember how far through an episode you are, meaning you can start listening on your smartphone but finish listening on Google Home.
Google Wants to Transform Podcasting
At launch, Google Podcasts is very similar to countless third-party alternatives. However, in the longterm, Google is hoping to use the Podcasts app to “transform podcasting for the better”. This will be achieved by utilizing AI and encouraging diversity.
In terms of AI, Google will be using it to “offer recommendations based on your listening habits,” whether you’re a fan of a particular genre or a network. And in the future Google has plans to offer automatic subtitling powered by Google Translate.
In terms of diversity, Google claims that “only about a quarter of the most popular podcasts tend to be hosted by women, and even fewer by people of color”. As a result, Google is hoping to “increase the diversity of voices and remove barriers to podcasting”.
Alternatives to Google Podcasts
Google Podcasts is currently only available on Android, but an iOS version is likely in the future. In the meantime iPhone owners should use Overcast. And for Android owners who want an alternative, these are the best podcast players for Android.