Google’s experimental products workshop Area 120 may be working on a new project called Shortwave that helps users discover new podcasts. The app made an appearance in a recent trademark filing, and though it didn’t have many details, a Google spokesperson revealed a bit more about the project, pointing toward spoken content as the focus.
The trademark application was filed by Google on July 18, 2018, citing a service for gadgets that “allows users to search, access, and play digital audio files, and to share links to audio files.” Speaking to The Verge, a Google representative confirmed the app’s existence, saying it is focused on “spoken word content.”
That points toward podcasts, which have surged in popularity over the last few years. Though many podcast apps are available, they lack a substantial discovery system, which would enable users to find content relevant to their interests, not just what is popular.
Pandora is aiming to fix that problem and is actively developing a podcast discovery system that would work similar to its current music system. It appears that it’ll have competition in the form of Shortwave, though, with Google reportedly looking at many potential features.
Specific features offered by Shortwave aren’t known at this time, nor when Google plans to launch the new product. It is possible we’ll see an integration with Google Assistant, enabling users to easily play and control content with Google Home devices. Though unconfirmed, we may also see AI-based features, opening a door of possibilities not present in current podcast apps.
SOURCE: The Verge