Google quietly released their latest Android app today. Listen from Google Labs brings podcast search, subscribe, download and stream to your Android phone. Users can subscribe to podcasts and search terms to create an endless stream of content. Currently the app only indexes English audio podcasts, but Google mention’s on their site that support for video and other languages is in the works.
At this time Listen is only available for the Android platform. I’m starting to doubt if it would even get approved for the iPhone App Store since it “duplicates the functionality” of iTunes.
I’ve downloaded the app and it looks clean for a version 1.0 release. A search for “Android” quickly returned the AndroidGuys and MOTODEV podcasts. You can subscribe to any show by clicking a star to add it to your favorites. Podcasts can be streamed or downloaded to your SD card. Listen places an icon in the notification bar during playback so you can have easy control access when using other apps.
There are several competing podcast apps already on Android, but most of them are paid. Google is offering Listen as a free download and has raised the bar for other apps. For more info, check out the Listen discussion group.