Google Listen has been out for several months and it finally received a much needed update. The latest version 1.1 has a greatly improved subscription manager which keeps the feeds fresh and it integrates directly with Google Reader. Users can now listen to and managed their podcast feeds directly from their desktop browser and everything automatically syncs with the new Android client.
If you want to try out the latest version of Google Listen, subscribe to our BlogTalkRadio podcast. You might be able to find our show by searching for Android or you can manually add our podcast feed.
Android and Me Podcast feed: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/androidandme.rss
Overall the user interface feels a little tighter and it is easier to navigate. I use Google Reader all the time, so I like being able to see my podcasts while I am in the browser. There appears to be an issue with all the podcast icons loading, but Google is aware of the problem and working on a fix.
Version 1.1 added a bunch of new features and fixes including:
- Subscriptions are stored by Google Reader in the “Listen Subscriptions” folder.
- Subscribed feed items are fresh, no longer limited in size, and are available offline (and more quickly).
- Screen “My listen items” shows queued and most recently subscribed item, with refresh button for subscriptions.
- Subscriptions screen is a list of subscribed feeds instead of the most recent item in the feed.
- Better control of listened state: “Mark all..” on details screen and context menus.
- The queue is now ordered by time added (instead of publication time).
- Settings has a “Check for new items” interval that periodically fetches new subscription items.
- Subscriptions screen has an “Add a subscription” button since the menu item with this function was regularly overlooked.
- “More episodes” screen now includes a “Queue new” button.
- Help screens and splash screen have been combined.
- The item title in the “Now Playing” mini-view is now clickable.
- Added voice input button to search bar.
- Play controls in landscape mode now take up less space.
- Add “Play” to context menu.
- Search subscriptions has temporarily been removed.
- Share an episode function has temporarily been removed.
- Various minor bug fixes.
*To preserve your currently subscribed feeds, please make sure you install from Market without uninstalling the previous version. Your feeds will automatically be integrated with Google Reader.
From Google: Listen from Google Labs brings podcasts and web audio to your Android-powered device. It lets you search, subscribe, download and stream. By subscribing to programs it will create a personalized audio-magazine loaded with fresh shows and news stories whenever you listen. In this release Listen is indexing thousands of popular English-only audio sources.