With the growing use of voice-based Google Assistant feature on Android devices, the search engine giant has launched the much-awaited audiobook section in Google Play Store.
Audiobooks is available in nine languages across 45 countries including India on Google Play. Readers can listen to their favourite audiobooks on Android, iOS and the web platforms, as well as on devices that support Google Assistant including smart speaker Google Home and many others (where ever available.)
"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," Greg Hartrell, Head of Product Management, Google Play Books said.
With a plan to offset Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo smart speakers' burgeoning growth, Google is offering customers lucrative deals for up to 50 percent off on the first audiobook and they don't have to pay any fee for the subscription, unlike the former, which charges $14.95 (audiobook platform: Audible) per month on the lines of its Prime service, which offer one free download and 30% off on future purchases.
Furthermore, Google Audiobook users get free previews and also share purchases with loved ones via Family Library.
How to get started with Google Audiobooks on your device:
Once you buy an audiobook on Google Play store, you can invoke 'Google Assistant' by saying –"OK Google, read my book (title name)" and also ask trivia about the author and other details at any point of the reading session.
Users can also set reminders by asking Google Assistant to start the reading session or stop it after some time. For instance, you can ask—"Ok Google, stop playing in 20 minutes"—to set a timer for bedtime reading.
Also, users can start off the morning by listening to an audiobook with the Assistant on their phone, and continue listening with the Google Play Books app on a tablet. He/she can pick up where they left no matter what device they are using, with the Assistant or the Google Play Books app.
As of now, Google Assistant integration with audiobooks is available on Android phones and smart speakers globally in English. It will be coming soon to the Assistant on Android Auto in the US, the company said.