Podcast discovery service Player FM is in the process of launching a new version of its Android app that features a completely revamped user interface as well as something that will make Google very happy: in-app indexing, which will allow the search engine to highlight Player FM’s app within its mobile search results and further blur the lines between the web and native apps.
Player FM founder Michael Mahemoff told me Monday that the launch of the new 2.0 version of the app should complete by Monday night. By that time, all upgraded users will have access to a new UI that comes with a card-like interface for podcast episodes, a full-screen mode during playback, a sleep timer and the ability to change the playback speed of a podcast, which I guess could be helpful if you’re using podcasts to learn a foreign language.
But one of the bigger changes is under the hood: Player FM is one of a number of Android apps that has added app indexing, which means that Google (A GOOG) is capable of crawling and indexing its in-app content as if it was a website. Google is using in-app indexing to surface app content in its user’s mobile search results. In the case of Player FM, this means that users who already have the app installed can search for a podcast title and find a link to the specific episode within the Player FM app directly within the search results.
For Google, these kinds of in-app results are a way to remain relevant in an era where online usage increasingly moves from desktops to mobile devices, and with that from the browser to dedicated apps. Google first announced in-app search at its Google I/O developer conference a year ago, and is likely going to update us on the development of the program at this year’s Google I/O conference in San Francisco later this week.