Google Podcasts are very well-integrated with Assistant, Home and Nest speakers, but when you compare it to the other players out there, it has always been rather uninspiring: With other things, lots of people complain about missing important features like queues and auto-downloads. Seems like Google took this criticism very seriously, because google is starting to roll out a version with new design of Podcasts that adds these two along with bottom tabs and a better home screen.
When we open the first app after receiving the update from the server-side, we will be greeted by a banner that describes what’s new: An updated home screen, a renewed section for search and content discovery, and better downloads and subscriptions management options, and also addition of a queue.
Same as before, this renewed home screen shows us thumbnails of podcasts we have subscribed to at the top, although now they are organized in the form of a carousel not a grid. The blue “new” toasts indicating new content have been changed with a red dot. Under that, we can find a scroll able section of the latest episodes from our subscriptions.
Trending/Top podcasts have been moved in the middle to the search bottom tab, with some other exploration opportunities. We also can not see our downloads and our history in the home tab anymore. All those can now be seen in the new activity bottom tab on the right, where we can also finally queue our episodes for consecutive playback. We also have access to our downloads, our history, and our subscriptions there.
Settings, can be accessed through the Google account icon in the top right corner, you can also find the addition of new options, most notably auto downloading, which is turned off by default. When we switch it on, Podcasts itself will add new episodes to our phone. We must keep in mind that this has only been available for some starting in May 2019, but it is possible that it is rolling out wider as part of this redesign. We can also set up notifications for releases in settings on a per-podcast basis.