Most people already saw the banner on Google Play so it comes as no surprise that Google has officially announced the arrival of audiobooks to their ecosystem. If “read more” was one of the things you included in your New Year’s resolution, then the addition of books that you can listen to or that can be read to you is surely a good thing if you don’t have time to actually pick up a book (or an ebook reader/app). The audiobooks store is now available in 45 countries and nine languages.
Unlike some audiobook services, you don’t need a subscription to be able to listen to the titles that you want. You can purchase them individually at what they say are affordable prices. For their initial roll-out, a lot of the best-selling or popular ones seem to be on sale (or maybe that’s their regular prices already?). If you’re not sure about the book you’re buying, you can get a preview and see if you like the way the narrator’s voice, because, with audiobooks, that’s kind of a major thing.
And because Google has Google Assistant, you can actually start listing to your audiobook hands free. You can just say, “Ok Google, read my book” to any of your devices that supports the virtual personal assistant like your Google Home or your smartphone. You can also tell it to stop playing in 20 minutes if you’re listening to it just before sleeping. Integration of Google Assistant is available only in English and for phones and smart speakers for now but will be expanding soon as well.
Since you can listen to your audiobook in a bunch of supported devices, it’s also important that you can pick up where you left off listening to whatever book you’re listening to. If you already have Google Play Books or Google Play on your devices, just head on over to the audiobook section to make your pick.