Android

The Google Assistant can now search and play podcasts by guest/episode

Google is significantly upgrading Assistant’s podcasting capabilities with more granular commands that let you search and play by episode, topic, and even guests.

For the longest time: “Hey Google, play [podcast name]was just about to start the latest episode. The Google Assistant can now “help you jump directly to a specific episode” with new commands that let you search for episodes using three filters:

  • Guest Search: “Play the Pivot episode with Bob Iger”
  • Search by topic: “Play the Stuff You Should Know episode on the Star Wars Holiday Spectacular”
  • Search by episode: “Play the Story Pirates episode about the holidays”

In our short test (with Google Podcasts set up), commands like “Play last week’s episode from [podcast]’ also work for more hands-free control over audio on all your Assistant devices.

This voice upgrade comes after the new Android Auto redesign, which will soon introduce a timeline scrubber. At this point, you can simply rewind or fast-forward at a set interval to navigate through an episode. This is not yet live in beta, but will come later. Google told us that this feature was primarily intended to improve the podcasting listening experience in your car.

Meanwhile, ahead of the holiday season, Assistant will support a “Hey Google, when will my Walmart order arrive?” command on Android if you’ve installed that vendor’s app.

Get quick order updates: Check all those groceries and gifts you’ve ordered for your guests without lifting a finger.

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