An update to how Google manages podcasts appears to be forthcoming, starting with the ability to start and resume podcasts between your Google Assistant devices. Now, if you begin listening to a podcast on your phone, you can pause and continue listening to the rest on a Google Home just by asking to play the podcast again, and Assistant will know where you left off.
Currently, Google doesn’t have a dedicated podcast management app outside of Google Play Music; the only way to work around this is to use search results as a homepage shortcut. With Google I/O just weeks away, it seems likely that an app — either inside the Home app or on the Play Store — is underway. Zack Reneau-Wedeen, Google Podcasts’ product manager, told Pacific Content that the podcast web app has had a “surprising” number of users returning to the feature, a clear pain point for a lot of Android users. In comparison, Apple has had a dedicated podcast app for iOS since 2012, and Reneau-Wedeen knows Google has fallen behind in this space.
“The majority of people who listen to podcasts do so on an iPhone. It’s actually so egregious that on a device-by-device basis, the average iPhone listens to over ten times more podcasting than the average Android,” Reneau-Wedeen said. “Getting to the point where twice as many people are listening to podcasts, most of them are not going to be people who listen already today. [...] It’s largely going to be new people, and we’re really excited about what opportunities it will create if we can help bring them into the fold.”