Google Podcasts for iOS release reveals big new redesign

Google Podcasts has arrived on iOS, promising another distraction for iPhone-owning listeners currently on coronavirus lockdown. The app follows Google Podcasts for Android, and is also joined by an updated version of the service for web, which now supports subscriptions like its app counterparts.

As you'd expect, the core features Android users of Google Podcasts are present and correct in the iOS version. Google has updated the interface to make finding new podcasts easier, as well as to manage favorites.

There are now three tabs, for Home, Explore, and Activity. Home has all the newest episodes and quick access to subscribed shows. Tapping an episode will not only bring up details on what's covered in that show, like topics and people, but also shortcut access to Search to find out more. As you'd expect, Google Podcasts is including episode length time on the Home feed, plus a button to download that episode.

Switching to the Explore tab, meanwhile, helps find new content to listen to. There are categories for things like news, business, arts, and comedy, with the top podcasts in each. Google also shows what's popular and trending at that moment in time.

A "For you" category, meanwhile, promises specific shows relevant to your own interests. That's based on recommendation settings you can access in the settings menu of the app.

Finally, there's the Activity tab. That shows a log of what you've been listening to and when, as well as which podcast episodes you have queued up, and which you have downloaded for offline playback. If you've subscribed to a podcast you can now set the app to pop up a notification when a new episode is available, and to automatically download in the background.

Whether you're using the Android, iOS, or web-based version of Google Podcasts, there's listening progress sync across all platforms. That means you can start listening to a podcast in the car through your Android phone, for example, then pick up where you left off on your iPad when you get home.

Google Podcasts for iOS is available to download today from the App Store. As for the new interface, that should be arriving on Google Podcasts for Android this week.