If you remember a few months ago, Google announced it would be jumping back into the podcast arena with “Google Play Music Podcasts.” It launched a site to take RSS submissions from content creators and promised the product would be launching “soon.” That product now appears to be live for some users.
Google hasn’t made an announcement yet, but Android Police has screenshots of the Android component, which lives inside the Google Play Music app. If you have Play Music version 6.3 and (critically) have the server-side switch for podcasts turned on, you’ll see a new section in the navigation drawer called “podcasts.”
The section contains a searchable podcast catalog, which allows you to subscribe and auto-download shows. The Now Playing screen has been tweaked with 30-second skip and rewind buttons, and the app will alert you when new shows arrive and start downloading. For now, it seems the podcast section is pretty bare bones, feature-wise. There’s no variable playback speed, no importing of existing RSS lists, and search isn’t limited to just podcasts.
There’s no word yet on an official launch, and we’re still waiting to see the inevitable Web and iOS clients. It seems that everything will launch very soon, though.