According to the latest data of the General Media Study (), 1.6% of the Spanish population, 360,000 inhabitants, heardin 2017 . The figure, which may seem very low, is significantly higher than in previous years, especially considering that it has not been until this year that this incipient channel of dissemination of content has become relevant. In Spain it is a relatively recent phenomenon , even though the podcat format has been with us since 2004. For its part, in the United States we have an advantage, since 1 out of every 4 inhabitants listen to podcasts once a month and the advertising revenues generated by them increased to 200 million dollars last year.
Why have we taken so long to start using podcasts in Spain? It is a question that does not have an easy answer. My bet is that Android, whose market share in our country is close to 90%, I did not have a native application , made by Google , with which to listen to this type of content, and Google is not that you have bet too much on this format (the iPhone has an app dedicated to podcasts for some time). To this we must add the relative lack of own content in Spanish generated by third parties .
Be that as it may, it seems that the Great G has reconsidered and finally,as God commands for Android. That is why we can not miss the opportunity to bring you a comparison of the two main applications to listen podcats , which are not other than Podcasts, iOS, and Google Podcasts. We will approach the design, the options and the performance in general, and at the end of everything we will extract some interesting conclusions. Get comfortable, we started.
Podcasts of iOS vs Google Podcast, comparative
Podcast application for iOS
We started with the design and the application for iOS . When you open the app you come across a simple and minimalist interface in which the white color predominates and the purple tones for the icons. It has four clearly differentiated sections, which are the following:
- Hear : shows you the latest available episodes of the programs you are subscribed to and / or those you have saved to listen to later, in addition to those recently played.
- library : a compilation of all the programs you follow. Inside there are two categories: “Programs” , which shows the programs and how many episodes are available; “Episodes” :, which shows the episodes of all the programs ordered by publication date – it is the most useful and the one that most interests the average user-.
- To explore : used to find new podcasts and recommendations. It has several sections: “Highlights”, “Successes”, “All categories” and “Featured providers”.
- Search As its name suggests, it serves to search podcasts on iTunes servers.
If something I like about this app is that it is simple and easy to use. It does not have many options, but neither does it lack anything. Very “Apple”, if I may the expression.
Podcast application for Google
Just as Apple’s podcast app follows the aesthetics of iOS 11, its Google counterpart does the same and follows the aesthetic set by. Unlike Apple’s, Google Podcasts is a somewhat chaotic landing that, until you get used to it, it becomes complicated to use. When you open it you access a minimalist screen, where white and the image predominates over all things.
At the top you have the programs to which you are subscribed with its respective photo and, just below, a section called “For you” that shows the new episodes of each program, the one that is being played at this moment and the ones that you have downloaded to listen to them whenever you feel like it. If you keep going down you will find the Most popular podcast, trends and podcasts on the rise in each category in slider format .
It is true that it is a nice app, but it is not intuitive or easy to use . It is not an application that “like” the iPhone, and while it is true that design is a positive point, in terms of usability and ease, there are much better alternatives in Google Play. It’s a good step, yes, but it shows that it is an app that lacks development.
Options and player
IOS podcast application
As we said before, the iOS podcast application is not that it has too many options, something that is not negative at all . If you go to Library> Programs and click on any of them you will access the “Program file” . In it you will see the title and author of it, the episodes available and those previously reproduced. If you download, you will find “The best of the podcast”, which are featured episodes (I do not know if it is an algorithm that chooses them or the author selects them), ratings and reviews with a star system and comments , and recommendations of other podcasts that you may like.
If you go back to Library and click on “Edit” you can add a podcast by URL (for example, that of a page that uploads its content to its own server and is not available in iTunes) and create a station . This is interesting, since you can create one that is called “Technology” and add to it several podcasts on that subject. It would be like a Spotify playlist, but with radio programs.
Changing of third, in the section Explore> Categories you will find 16 subdivisions , ranging from art and science to culture and society, through health, music, film and technology. The programs are clearly differentiated and it is really easy to find what you are looking for. In “Explore” you also have a superior slider with podcast recommendations that may interest you. In my case, I listen to technology and philosophy, I recommend research and history programs, and I have found real gems.
We continue, and we have to talk about player . Similar to the one you find in the iPhone music app, you have the cover of the episode, a progressive bar that shows where the one that is playing is going (and that we can slide to fast or slow), episode title, program and date of issue, playback controls (Play, return 15 seconds and forward 15 seconds) and the volume bar.
In the lower area you have the speed control , which allows the clip to be played in different modes: x0.5 (half fast), x1 (normal speed), x1.5 (slightly faster) and x2 (twice as fast). The middle icon is used to change the playback device (to pass the audio from the iPhone to the Mac, for example) and the options button, which allows:
- Delete the episode
- Save it
- Play it below.
- Share it.
If you slide the player upwards you will find the button “Repose” , that allows you to configure the app so that the podcast is cut after a while (ideal if you are like me and like to sleep listening to a program), and episode notes . In them, the author can add information and links to complement the information issued in the program. Finally, on the iPhone’s lock screen, some controls that allow you to modify the volume, pause and give the Play, forward or backward in the episode and change the playback device.
Google podcast application
As we already anticipated, The Google app is a little chaotic and complicated to use. Also, if the iPhone app has few options, the Google app shuts down and let’s go. If you click on any of the programs that appear you will find the title, the station or its author, the cover of the program, the button to subscribe, a small description and all the Available episodes sorted from most recent to oldest . If you click on the options button (the three points on the top right) you can add the program to the home screen and access your website.
The magnifying glass button that appears on the main screen allows search for both content and information on Google . If you type “Technology”, for example, the highlighted podcats appear above, below other related podcasts (again in slider format) and a button to search in Google. If you click there, Google Assistant will open and show you the search results of the term in question . It is not very useful, why be deceived.
From the settings of the app you can configure the app to delete the completed and unfinished episodes within X days, but little else. Can not create thematic stations or add podcasts by URL.
Moving to player , we find a drop down at the bottom which shows the progress bar (which can be moved), the Play button and pause, 10 seconds backward and 30 forward, speed control (which works with a slider and allows you to choose any speed between x0.5 and x2, much better than Apple) and a button with an “i” of “Information”. When you press it, you access the “Episode record”.
In it you can see the title of the podcast, the name of the clip, date of publication, file size and duration of the same. We also have here the button to play, download and mark as played, in addition to the episode notes that, surprisingly, they do not show the links that the author has put in them , which makes them a little useless.
If you deploy the Notification bar You can also access the player . It has a very nice design that inherits the color of the podcast image and creates a pretty striking fade, although its options are scarce. You can not control the volume or have a progress bar. It only has the Play button and to delay and advance seconds, nothing more. Also has player on the lock screen , although more basic if possible.
Performance and integration with the assistant
Podcasts application for iPhone
Apple has been betting on the podcast for many years and offering a native application for its users, and noticeable . The app is fluid, works great, it does not have a single cut, the audio is downloaded in an exquisite quality – if the author has recorded it as well – and is perfectly integrated in Siri . If you tell him “Play the last podcast” will play the last one available in your episode list, and if you tell it “Plays the last podcasts of X program” , it will too. Recognize perfectly what program you refer to and reproduce it without major problem. A joy, plain and simple.
Unfortunately, We could not prove it in a Homepod , although it is an Apple native app, it is likely to work just as well. In this sense, we can not put a single fault. You can tell that the Cupertino boys know what they are doing and they know what their users want. He peppered, in a few words.
Google podcast application
The app works well, in the sense that the sound quality is good , it has no cuts, it allows you to access your favorite podcasts and offers the possibility to download the files to listen to them offline. Beyond that, little else can be added. The integration with Google Assistant is null, nonexistent . When you tell him to play a podcast he gives you Google search results, just like if you ask him to play this or that program. Neither is able to open the podcast app. A disaster, plain and simple.
As in the case of Apple, we have not been able to test the integration of podcasts with a Google Home, although seen as seen, we can expect the worst. It shows that the app is new, that Google is getting the leg in this field of the podcast and still has a long way to go.
It’s exactly the same in both applications . They all drink from the same sources and there is not a single program that is not on both platforms. In that sense, both apps meet expectations. The main difference is that in the iPhone podcasts app you can add content from a URL and organize your programs on stations, something that is not included in the Google app.
I think that, at this point, little more can be added to what was explained in the previous paragraphs. Apple, unfortunately, It takes us years of advantage in podcast management , and it is appreciated at first sight. While your app is a delight, it works great and offers useful and necessary options for the average user, the Google app is a disaster in almost every way . Its design is not very intuitive, its functions are scarce, the categories are nonexistent and the integration with Google Assistant was never heard.
Breaking a spear in favor of Google, I have to say that It is a very recent application , pilot, I would dare to say. It is true that you will not have problems when it comes to finding content, but the application is so bad that you do not want to use it. Possibly we will see it improve in the coming months -and it would be better-, but until that happens, it is better use