Google adds audio books on Play Store; here's how to get them

Head of Industrial Design for Home speaks about the Google Home Mini during a launch event in San Fra
Head of Industrial Design for Home speaks about the Google Home Mini during a launch event in San Fra

25 January, 2018

You can simply ask the Assistant, "Okay Google, read my book" and the audiobook will start playing.

Google is rolling out Audiobooks to 45 countries starting today and in nine languages on Android, iOS, and the web. For now, the Google Assistant integration with audiobooks is available on Android phones and smart speakers globally in English.

Based on a demo of Google Play audiobooks I saw, it looks like Google has gotten most of the basics down.

Play the most recently listened to the audiobook: OK, Google, read my book.

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Users can now experience their favorite literature read out to them by instructing Google Assistant to read their book, Google said. But, Audible owned by Amazon wants customers to go for a full subscription. Considering that more and more people are interacting with Google services via voice commands, audiobooks are one area the company expects to see more demand, explains Google Play Books Head of Product Management Greg Hartrell.

"With audiobooks on Google Play, you can turn your time stuck in traffic, on the treadmill, or waiting in line into reading time", Google wrote in the blog spot. Google Play Books with Audio Books will also be available on iOS for Apple users as well.

Although India seems to among the supported countries, the audiobooks page us now coming up empty for me in Google Play, but it may change in the few hours or by the morning. Audible's cheapest subscription tier is one book a month for $14.95, which shaves as much as $10 off the price of a standalone audiobook. As consumers decide which speaker to purchase, they may be swayed by whichever device gives them easier access to their audiobooks, or they'll buy audiobooks from whichever company makes their speaker. That's part of the reason audiobooks have become so popular in recent years, as they allow you to absorb enthralling adventures and intricate mysteries while your hands are busy whipping up dinner or you're out for your brisk morning walk.

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