The rollout of a new podcasts section to Google Play Music for Android is ongoing at the moment for the US and Canada, as has been announced a couple of days ago. But the search giant has already worked on making podcasts even more accessible in its mobile operating system.
From this point on, you can search for a podcast using the Google app for Android (or its persistent search bar widget on your home screen), and you'll be able to start paying that podcast straight from the search results. The screenshots below show this in action. The results screen will present you with the three most recent episodes of the podcast, as well as a play button for each. You also get the option to see more episodes.
Once you have started playing an episode, playback controls will appear at the bottom of the screen, allowing you to pause and resume, rewind, or fast forward. You can do other things on your phone while you listen of course, or even turn the screen off.
Interestingly, podcasts are accessible in the Google app in this manner worldwide, though only in English for now. So they're not limited once again to the US and Canada, like the new podcasts part of the Google Play Music app.