Google is significantly upgrading Assistantâ€™s podcast capabilities with more granular commands that let you search and play by episode, topic, and even guests.
For the longest time, â€œHey Google, play [podcast name]â€ would just start the latest episode. Google Assistant can now â€œhelp you jump right into a specific episodeâ€ with new commands that let you searchÂ for episodes with three filters:
- Search by guests: â€œPlay the Pivot episode with Bob Igerâ€
- Search by topic: â€œPlay the Stuff You Should Know episode about the Star Wars Holiday Spectacularâ€
- Search by episode: â€œPlay the Story Pirates episode about the holidaysâ€
In our brief testing (with Google Podcasts set), commands like â€œPlay last weekâ€™s episode of [podcast]â€ also work for more hands-free control over audio across your Assistant devices.
This voice upgrade comes after the new Android Auto redesign, which will soon introduce a timeline scrubber. At the moment, you can just use set-interval rewind/forward to navigate an episode. This is not yet live in the beta but will be coming later. Google told us this feature was aimed especially at improving the podcasting listening experience in your car.
Meanwhile, ahead of the holidays, Assistant supports a â€œHey Google, when is my Walmart order arriving?â€ command on Android if you have that retailerâ€™s app installed.
Get quick order updates: Check in on all those groceries and gifts you ordered for your guests without lifting a finger.
More on Google Assistant:
- Pixel 7 and 7 Pro using personalized speech recognition to improve Google Assistant
- Google adding Assistant parental controls and four kid-friendly voices
- Pixel Tablet readies new designs for Google Assistant and Discover [Gallery]
- Assistant ditches light mode theme on Android to be â€˜consistentâ€™ with Wear OS and TV
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