Leaked documents hint at what Google’s ‘Shortwave’ podcast app could be

Google says the documents are no longer accurate

Shortwave logos and slogans

Google’s experimental podcast app ‘Shortwave’ could be designed to deliver personalized snippets of podcasts, according to leaked images.

The Mountain View-based search giant recently confirmed that its Area 120 experimental product lab has a podcast app in the works. However, we didn’t know much about it beyond its name: Shortwave.

Recently discovered design experiments shine some new light on the mystery of Shortwave. An ex-Google designer posted the documents on their personal website, according to 9to5 Google.

The documents include a brand statement, app mockup and logo designs.

Shortwave description and branding

However, Google told 9to5 Google in a statement that the documents are from an exploratory concept and don’t represent the current project.

“The language here is a long-outdated artifact of early exploratory concept work, and not representative of the product now. In true Area 120 fashion, teams are constantly experimenting and iterating, so unfortunately, the Shortwave team has long ‘waved’ goodbye to this approach,” said the Google spokesperson.

Despite this, the description of Shortwave provided by the design documents fits with Google’s recent moves.

Shortwave app mockup

The document describes Shortwave as a solution to the issue of having too much to listen to. This indicates the app would somehow curate podcasts and distill them into short segments.

The design mockups, for example, show three sections labelled ‘Laugh,’ ‘Learn’ and ‘Listen.’ Beneath these sections is a small drawer that looks like it can be dragged up. The drawer is labelled ’15 Shortwaves.’

The three main sections suggest a length of one to 10 minutes. Additionally, the ‘Listen’ segment indicates the app is curated by editors, while the other sections aren’t.

Considering Google’s push for artificial intelligence, Shortwave would likely accomplish this curation using AI.

AI curation would also help set Shortwave apart from other podcast apps, including Google’s own Podcasts app. Shortwave could also serve as a sort of testbed for the features before bringing them over to Podcasts.

Regardless, Google says these documents aren’t representative of what Shortwave currently is. I’m not too sure how much truth their is to this statement.

What Shortwave is trying to accomplish fits too well with Google’s penchant for AI tech.

Images: 9to5 Google

Source: 9to5 Google Via: Engadget, Android Police