Podcasts are the kind of thing most of us have heard of, even if we don't listen. Many of the most popular things to listen to can only be found as a podcast.
Ever since they have become more mainstream there have been countless apps meant to help us find and listen, but not all of them are easy to understand. Google has been down this road before, and is trying once again.
They have released an app that is named, simply, "Google Podcasts," and it is a great option for Android users who want to dive into podcasts but want to avoid any confusion. It's light on bells and whistles but if you are only interested in listening to shows, it's not a bad option.
Here's how to use it
First off, keep in mind the app only works for Android. As for getting started, you'll need to go into the Play Store and download it. Just search for "Google Podcasts" and, once you find it, download it as you would any other app.
Once downloaded, the icon will show up on your home screen. Tap on it to open.
The first screen you see will be a home page that shows icons for what Google is saying are the top or trending podcasts. The shows can have all sorts of themes -- it really depends on what everyone else is listening to at the time.
And, if you are seeking a specific podcast, click on the magnifying glass in the upper left-hand corner to open a search bar. Just type in the name and find it.
From there you can scroll up and down to see different sections, all of which will display various podcasts. You will find politics, sports, society & culture and other categories, all with some popular choices within them presented right on the screen.
Tap on one to open up a different page, one with a more in-depth look at the podcast you have chosen. It provides the podcast's name, its hosts and a brief summary of what to expect.
If it looks interesting to you, tap on the blue "Subscribe" button in order to ensure you receive new episodes as they are released.
On that screen you will also see older episodes, which you can listen to by clicking on the circle with the right-facing triangle.
And that's pretty much it!
One of the best parts about Google Podcasts is how it is very basic. Some people may want more frills in the app, but this one is for someone who is focused only on finding and listening to podcasts.
It is easy to understand and pretty to sort through, with not much in the way of confusing or technical things. For many people it is a welcome breath of fresh air in a world where apps tend to offer far more than we need in a way that is difficult to understand.
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It's easy to subscribe! Just click the iTunes, Google Play or Spotify links to subscribe via your smartphone, or download individual episodes on your computer by clicking the “Download” link in the bottom right of each episode’s summary.
If podcasts aren't your thing, try streaming music
The ability to take a library of music with us wherever we go is an amazing thing. But while it's great to have a collection saved onto a phone or other gadget, that is in some ways kind of limiting. Click here to learn about one of the best streaming options.