For a good while now, Google has been fleshing out its Play Music service to provide an offering on the same level as that provided by Apple’s digital audio services. However, one of the noticeably absent features from Google Play Music has been podcast support. Podcasts are undeniably one of the most popular forms of digital audio, becoming a staple of the internet age. Today sees Google introduce podcast support to their Play Store for use with Google Play Music.
According to Droid Life, podcast support for Google Play Music is now available in the U.S. and Canada following its announcement from Google last week. The new podcast service works similarly to many of Google’s other Play-based products, in the respect that users are able to use the Google Play Store to search and find their usual podcast before downloading it to their device via the Google Play Music app. There’s not an awful lot that sets Google Play Music’s podcast support apart from many of the other podcast applications already available on the Android operating system, however, integration of podcasts within the Google Play Music app is sure to be a useful piece of functionality to many Android users.
As reported by Wired, you’ll find many of your favorite podcasts already available to download on the Google Play Store, with the majority of podcasts likely to be on there before long. Also worth noting is the fact that you can, of course, use the service to subscribe to your favorite podcasts and receive a notification when they’re ready to download. As mentioned, unlike many of Google’s other services, there’s nothing groundbreaking about Play Music’s support for podcasts. It’s more about giving Android users an effective way to download and listen to them.
That being said, Google did have an ulterior motive in their decision to bring podcast support to Google Play: Their new podcast service offers an attempt by the company to introduce the world of podcasts to people who might never have listened to one before. Elias Roman, the product manager for Google Play Music, said that the new service was introduced with a mind to introduce podcasts “to people who had no idea they were looking for podcasts.” In all, Google definitely looks to be getting on the bandwagon in terms of podcasts, accepting that they’re an essential part of today’s internet and something that they need to better approach.
Introducing podcast support is all part of the wider picture for Google and their Play Music provider, however. According to Elias Roman, Google is constantly looking for ways that they can improve the way people listen to music, with the company currently looking for ways that they can make listening to music more seamless. Google is currently looking into technology that would assess the time, your location, and a number of other elements to best decide what music or playlist you’d like to listen, allowing you to get on with your life while Google sorts out the music.
Google are certainly taking bold steps to improve many of their Play-based services, but that’s no surprise considering the common opinion that they’re behind Apple in terms of software technology. For Google, their Android operating system is definitely a primary focus right now, and while manufacturing of Android devices largely falls on third-party developers, Google is able to better improve the experience the operating system provides by building on its native applications. In some cases, those improvements have consisted of revolutionary new changes to Google’s services, while others, like the introduction of podcasts, are simply plugging a hole.
[Image via Google]