While recent weeks have seen a flurry of developments in the podcasting industry, Google has remained relatively quiet about its offering. That said, Google Podcasts has just redesigned the Now Playing screen on iOS and has widely rolled out the ability to block recommendations.
The revamped Now Playing screen first appeared on Android at the start of 2021. Google has moved the timeline scrubber so that it appears directly below the episode/show name. The play/pause and rewind/skip buttons follow and are now flanked by the queue and a heart button — more on that bellow.
Playback speed, Sleep timer, Cast, and an overflow menu (recommendations, Share, Mark as played) round out the bottom row. Overall, these are nice tweaks that help modernize the Now Playing UI and is now rolled out on iOS. It was made available via a server-side update to version 2.0.10 from earlier this month.
The redesign was partly done to accommodate additional controls. Namely, the “heart” will tell Google to show “more episodes like this in your recommendations.” Alternatively, you can have Podcasts “Show fewer” from the overflow menu and “Block show from recommendations” for content you aren’t subscribed to and only trialing.
You can see a full history of all the customizations you’ve made in Podcasts on a Google My Activity page. This capability also lets you customize the “Explore” tab and remove shows and episodes you don’t like. There was previously no way to tune recommendations in Google Podcasts.
The feature is now fully rolled out on Android — be sure to have the latest Google app installed — and just came to iOS.
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