Google has streamlined the podcast-listening experience for Apple Podcasts users by introducing a new search feature. After discontinuing a feature that let users play podcasts directly from search results earlier this year, Google had promised a redesign. This change is now gradually rolling out.
Users seeking podcasts on their iPhone or iPad, using broad search terms like "kids podcasts" or "movie podcasts," will now see an option to "Listen on Apple Podcasts." However, this feature is currently only available to Google Search users in the U.S. Further market rollouts are anticipated after initial performance evaluation.
For instance, a search for "comedy podcasts" shows a box at the top of the search results showcasing popular titles. Users can refine their search using filter buttons, which include Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.
When an individual show is selected, a detail page provides a description, release frequency, average episode length, and a list of the latest episodes. Users can then choose the "Listen now on Apple Podcasts" option, which deep-links directly to the show in the Apple Podcasts app.
Interestingly, Google has not self-preferenced, as the same functionality is also available for Spotify. Users can find Google Podcasts by clicking "All Listening Options," revealing more choices. While Spotify claimed this feature has been available for over a year, Apple confirmed the feature's novelty for Apple Podcasts.
With this update, Google acknowledges that users prefer to listen to podcasts using their preferred app, rather than directly from search results.