These days anyone can have a podcast, which is both great and frustrating. It's great because we can now hear from various voices on a variety of topics, but frustrating because there can be just too many to try and sort through.
How do you find the best shows you'll enjoy listening to? Word of mouth helps but no one has heard of everything, right?
Google is trying to help, not only with finding podcasts but keeping them organized for you. They recently released a new app, simply called "Google Podcasts," which is for Android and is meant to help users "discover and listen to the world's podcasts."
All your podcasts in one place
There are plenty of apps out there for podcast listening, but Google's is new, intuitive and free. It allows you to subscribe to any show for free as well as download episodes for offline listening.
Even more, the podcasts you choose will be automatically synced across all your Android devices, meaning with Google Assistant you can pause on one and resume on another, like on your Google Home.
That's not all Google Podcasts will do, of course.
One of its key features is using its recommendation algorithms to try and connect you with podcasts you may not have heard of but would enjoy listening to.
It looks good for being so basic
Google Podcasts has a pretty basic function, which it handles very well. Still, it finds a way to be easy on the eyes, too.
Better yet, it is not difficult to figure out and use.
If there is a downside, it is that Google Podcasts does not automatically download new episodes of shows you are subscribed to, and there is no option to build a playlist so that you have shows queued up to play one after the other.
Therefore, when one episode in your library ends it will automatically go to the next, and if the one you are listening to is the newest show then the audio will just stop upon its completion.
Also, while Google Podcasts will help you find new shows to listen to, its list of suggestions is rather short and there is no option to browse through entire categories.
Of course, all that could change as the app moves forward, since Google is promising to continue to improve it and bring new features as time goes on.
Ready to compete with Apple?
When it comes to podcasts, Apple has long been at the top of the mountain in terms of apps. Google is trying to take a bolder step into that arena, and while it would be unfair to expect them to take over, Google Podcasts is certainly an attempt at taking a stronger hold of the market.
It's not Google's first try at this, as "Google Listen" was launched in 2009 and finished in 2012. Back then, the reasoning behind ending the app was that there were other, better podcast apps available.
Even after that Google Play allowed for podcasts, but it was not a dedicated podcast app. Google Podcasts is, which is why there is optimism that this could finally be the app that turns Android users away from Apple.
Speaking of podcasts, have you caught up on the latest from Kim?