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Big Revolution - Putting Google Podcasts to the test

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Welcome to Thursday's Big Revolution. Today, I've included an update on the progress of my freelance
 
June 21 · Issue #116 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Thursday’s Big Revolution. Today, I’ve included an update on the progress of my freelance work. Scroll down to the ‘big read’ section for that, if you’re so inclined.
Martin

Big things you need to know today
- Instagram has launched its new longform video service. Brands, professional content creators, and normal users alike can upload vertical videos of up to 60 minutes to share in IGTV, which is available as a standalone app and in the regular Instagram app. The news comes as Instagram announces it has hit 1 billion monthly active users. I’m not sure I’ll spend a lot of time using IGTV, but it’s worth trying out, and it has a cool static effect.
- The European Parliament has taken a step towards controversial copyright controls. These would make platforms directly liable for copyright infringements by their users and require aggregators that include snippets of articles to obtain a license from every publisher. Aside from threatening the future of memes and link sharing, they will only strengthen big tech companies, who will be the only ones capable of operating in ways that comply with the laws. Madness.
- Tesla has sued the alleged saboteur who it accuses of leaking confidential information to external parties and misleading the press about the company’s progress on Model 3 production.
- The White House wants to take a USA-wide approach to new privacy laws, in the wake of the EU’s GDPR. This would be instead of state-specific laws, which might make life harder for tech companies.
- Microsoft has refreshed its news service, with revamped apps for iOS and Android, and a new look on Windows 10 and the web. This comes hot on the heels of Google News’ recent new look.
The big thought
Google Podcasts
Putting Google Podcasts to the test
Today I thought I’d do something a bit different with the big thought – an app review. 
Earlier this week, Google launched a podcasts app for Android. As I noted yesterday, it looks the part, with the same simple-but slick approach as the (very good) Google News app. But how does it work as a podcast player?
I’m a bit of a podcast addict – I have a set of subscriptions I listen to religiously week in, week out. If I have a busy week without much listening time, I can build up a backlog, but I still listen to them all until I’ve caught up. Pocket Casts is my app of choice, as it syncs my subscriptions and listening history across Android and iOS. 
If you’re a hardcore podcast listener, you might find Google’s new app doesn’t offer you enough. There are no automatic downloads of new episodes – it seems to prefer that you stream them. You can download an episode manually if you like – once you’ve given the app permission to use your storage, which involves you being booted out to an OS menu.
There’s a list of the latest episodes from your subscriptions, but they’re listed newest first, and if you have more than one unlistened episode from a series, it will only show the latest in the list. I found myself tapping around to find workarounds to things I can easily do in Pocket Casts.
There are some strong points, though. It offers very good suggestions for other podcasts you might like, based on your subscriptions. And if you have a Google Home, you can pause an episode on your phone and continue it on your smart speaker. 
These strengths lead me to hope that Google is going to develop this app into an offering with all the bells and whistles a dedicated podcast listener expects. Right now, it better serves those just dipping a toe in the waters of internet audio broadcasting.
One big read
Here's what I've been working on. What's next? Here's what I've been working on. What's next?
Forgive me – today’s big read is by me, about me. In January I went freelance. Here’s what I’ve been working on in that time. If you’d like me to help you with a project in the coming months, drop me a line.
One big tweet
Politics as wrestling…
Dave Pell
The best reference point for understanding Trump is the WWE.

Fans don’t care if it’s real, as long as it’s entertaining.
5:12 AM - 21 Jun 2018
That’s all for today...
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