At I/O 2019, Google announced that it will start including podcast search results so that you can listen to them right away without the need for a standalone podcast app. The feature, as of today, has gone live across both desktop and mobile web.
Searching for a relevant podcast now surfaces a card of the most recent three episodes. The podcasts can be played right there by clicking the ‘play’ button. But tapping on the links will take you to podcasts.google.com, offering a feed of all the episodes.
Selecting ‘play’ will bring up a basic audio player, with controls to play/pause, rewind 10 seconds/forward 30 seconds, and adjust playback speed. The biggest limitation is that the interface only lets you browse episodes from a single podcast, you can’t browse different podcasts from the site.
Google isn’t the only company to have launched a web-based podcast player recently. Back in April, Apple updated the web interface for Podcasts to allow it to play episodes directly, strengthening rumors that the company is planning on breaking up iTunes into separate Music, TV, and Podcast apps.