Google Play Books now offers audiobooks with Assistant and Cast support


It may not be worthy of a page-turner.

The launch of Audiobooks on Play is sure to intensify the rivalry between Google and Amazon.

Listening to audiobooks is among the most popular night-time uses for smart speakers, a burgeoning type of home appliance that provides audio streams of music, news and other data based on user commands to an embedded virtual assistant. According to the banners displayed by the company, google audiobooks will be initially available in selective countries such as the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Google does claim to have all the bestselling authors and titles but it's safe to read into Google's response that the Google Play listening catalog will be smaller than Audible's. "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. Additionally, your first audiobook purchase is 50% off. And as with Audible, you'll be able to listen to a sample before buying. The Amazon-owned service has been selling audiobooks online since the mid-nineties online, and has also been Apple's primary audiobook partner since 2003. There are two tiers, which give the user one or two credits per month. Audible members also get a 30% discount on audio titles.

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You can also summon help through the Google Assistant. You say "Ok Google, read my book" and your Google voice assistant will read out your favorite book for you.

If you're interested in audiobooks but haven't bought into Audible yet, Google's store should be live by the time you finish reading this.

That's useful, of course, but it is just following Alexa's lead. You can instruct it to stop reading the book after a certain period of time. Over the weekend, a dedicated section for Audiobooks spotted on Google Play, and now the company has made it official. Whether it's your smartphone or your Google Home smart speaker, this is a handy feature that makes it even easier to enjoy a good book while you're busy around the house.