August 8, 2020

Google’s subscription-free audiobooks are now available in India

Google on Tuesday announced the launch of audiobooks on the Google Play store in India. As the name suggests, you can now instruct your Google Assistant – regardless of the device you’re using – be it your Android phone, tablet or Google Home to read a book of your choice. You say “Ok Google, read my book” and your Google voice assistant will read out your favorite book for you.
The world is inclining towards the use of voice commands and personal digital assistants these days, and Google’s new audiobooks also aim at the same. “From Jhumpa Lahiri’s — Unaccustomed Earth, to Astrophysics For People In A Hurry by Neil Degrasse Tyson, to Chetan Bhagat’s One Night At The Call Center and numerous others, the user can simply say — Ok Google, read my book,” notes Google.
Audiobooks on Google Play store is available in 9 different languages across 45 countries worldwide. You can listen to your favorite audiobooks on all devices that support Google Assistant like Google Home or any other.
To listen to the audiobooks, all you need to do is long press the Home Button and say “Ok Google, read my book”. Interestingly, Google’s audiobooks don’t need you to subscribe to it to use it, initially. You can preview a book to first, and only if you are hooked on to the story or enjoy listening to the narrator’s voice, you are required to pay a fee to buy the audiobook.
The audiobooks work, as and how you want it to work. You can instruct it to stop reading the book after a certain period of time. It works according to what you instruct Google Assistant to do. You can just say, “Ok Google, stop playing in 20 minutes” and it will follow the same – basically you can set a timer for the reading. Alongside narrating the book for you, audiobooks also reveal information about the author – to get that, all you need to say is — “Ok Google, who is the author?”
You can use audiobooks across multiple devices. This will basically help you pick up where you left last. For instance, you can start your morning reading with the Assistant on your phone, and continue listening with the Google Play Books app on your tablet later in the day. “You can pick up where you left off no matter what device you’re using, with the Assistant or the Google Play Books app on Android, iOS, Chromecast, Android Wear, Android Auto or even your laptop,” notes Google.
Commenting on the newly launched audiobooks, Greg Hartrell, Head of Product Management, Google Play Books said, “We are rolling out Google audiobooks today, for users who prefer books to be read out to them. The Google Assistant integration with audiobooks is available on Android, iOS, Chromecast, Android Wear, Android Auto or even your laptop.”