Earlier this year, Google redesigned the Now Playing UI in podcasts for Android and iOS. Google Podcasts is now rolling out its next major redesign with lots of tweaks that address usability complaints.
Update 08/30: After first appearing for Google app beta users, the Google Podcasts redesign should be rolled out for those in the stable channel (version 12.32+) on Android. Look for the new grid view and the Library tab.
Original 8/6: As expected, the changes begin on the “Home” tab, where the podcast carousel is now called “Subscriptions”. This allows Google to add a “More” button that opens a grid view, addressing a major complaint among users who watch a lot of shows. The previous carousel-only approach required a lot of scrolling to find a particular podcast.
In the meantime, the “Home” feed is unchanged, except that each episode card adds an overflow menu in the lower right corner. This is a quick way to “Share” or “Mark As Played”. This saves users from having to open the full episode page first to complete the latter action.
“Explore” remains unchanged, except for the word mark “Google Podcasts”, which removes the red “Beta” tag for all users, appears in the app bar, which avoids the double “Explore” with the lower bar.
Finally, “Activity” is now “Library” in the core navigation, with Google dropping the top four tabs that you can easily swipe through to get a standard list view. We’ve already discussed the subscription grid with queue, downloads, and history.
Those visual changes aside, the other big one is about tapping the Google Podcasts app / home screen icon no longer resetting where users are in the app and returning them to the Home tab. This was because podcasts were part and an extension of the Google app. With this changed behavior, Google Podcasts behaves like any other installed application.
This podcast redesign was introduced for beta users of the Google app on Friday evening. There’s a new 12.30 variant update in the Play Store, but forcing the main Google app to stop from “App Info” also triggers the revision.
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