Google Podcasts to add Android Auto support, selects accelerator program winners

Google has two news items surrounding its podcasts app. First, the latest version of the app added support for the Android Auto in-car infotainment system. The 8.91 version of the Google Podcasts app is in beta now, but is expected to roll out to all users soon. According to AndroidPolice, the iteration for Android Auto has four options in the navigation tab: Your Podcasts, New Episodes, Downloads, and In Progress. The player provides controls for skipping to the next or previous entries in those categories, or just for moving ahead 30 seconds or rewinding 10 seconds.

The second development is related to a joint effort with PRX. The two parties have selected the six teams to participate in a previously-announced accelerator program. The winners, selected out of an international applicant pool numbering in the thousands, will take part in a week-long intensive course at the PRX Podcast Garage. Next, they will receive pitch training and weekly webinars for 20 weeks as they develop show pilots. The winning projects are:

  • Afroqueer by Maeve Francis, Aida Holly-Nambi, and Selly Thiam
  • Las Raras by Martin Cruz and Catalina May
  • Timestorm by Michael Aquino and Dania Ramos
  • Long Distance by Patrick Epino and Paola Mardo
  • The Colored Girl Beautiful by Aseloka Smith
  • Who Taught You How to Drive? by Tanikka Charrae, Melissa Tsuie, and Tezarah Wilkins

“The teams selected for the first round show incredible promise, and we couldn’t be more excited to help these producers develop and grow their shows,” Google Podcasts Product Manager Zack Reneau-Wedeen. “This program is one of the ways we hope to ensure that our millions of listeners have access to a variety of content for all types of global audiences.”

“The wide response to this global application process demonstrates the growing interest in podcasting around the world,” PRX CEO Kerri Hoffman said. “The range of stories from the winning teams is evidence that audio storytelling can open us up to new perspectives. Through the training program and the introductory training videos in multiple languages we will release later this year, we plan to support even more people interested in learning how to capture and share their stories.”

Anna Washenko