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Google Assistant can now read you a bedtime story

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For those who love reading, there is nothing better than relaxing on the sofa with a good book. At the end of the day when you are home from work though, you might even be too tired to concentrate, especially if you spend the day in front of a computer screen. This is the perfect scenario for Assistant to step in, to read your favorite audiobooks to you while you relax, sip a glass of wine or cook. 

How to buy an audiobook in the Play Store

An important step was taken by Google in January: to release audiobooks to the Play Store, which are available in 45 countries and 9 different languages. If you go to the Play Store or Play Books, you can select which audiobook you wish to purchase, after listening to the preview, which helps you decide if the book and the narrator is right for you.

Steps to follow:

  1. Open Google Play Books
  2. Click on the cover image of the book you are interested in
  3. Select Play Preview
  4. Proceed to payment, and you're good to go!

Good to know: Google offers 50% discount on the purchase of your first audiobook. Once purchased, you don't necessarily need Google Home or its mini version to read it, as you can also use Assistant on your smartphone. If you use one of the smart speakers however, the experience will definitely be better.

Listen to audiobooks on Google Home (or Mini)

Now you have your audiobook, grab your glass of wine or your cup of tea, and relax, but before:

  1. Say "Ok Google, read my book/audiobook". 
  2. If you have more than one audiobook, be more precise "Ok Google, read..." and say the title of your book
  3. If for some reason you don't have any audiobooks downloaded, Google Assistant will notify you

Here are some other helpful voice commands:

  • "Ok Google, pause."
  • "Ok Google, previous/next chapter."
  • "Ok Google, how much time is left?"
  • "Ok Google, stop playing in 20 minutes."
  • "Ok Google, who wrote this?" or "Ok Google, who is the author?"
  • "Ok Google,  read my book on [Chromecast name]": This command will be useful if you would like to use another device instead of the three discussed in this article. 
AndroidPIT google home mini review 3229
Say "Ok Google, read my book/audiobook" and Assistant will read it for you! / © NextPit

What's the overall impression?

With a few simple steps to follow, you won't have any problems with the general downloading and set up of the audiobooks feature. On my Google Home Mini, the command responses were immediate, moving to the next chapter and pausing when required. What you might not like is the voice of the narrator for your chosen book, and unfortunately there isn't much you can do about that. 

Personally, I have a problem with audiobooks: I can't concentrate on them for more then 20 minutes. This means that after this time I'll either fall asleep or start thinking of something else. But of course, that's not Assistant's fault. This feature could be very useful for a variety of situations: when you're doing chores around the house, cooking or reading to your children if you're busy. 

Will you stick to your trusty books, or are you willing to try audiobooks with Assistant? Let us know in the comments.

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Jessica Murgia

Jessica Murgia

Italian editor and Android lover: with her, all the most intimate secrets of Android will be revealed! Chronic traveler, a lover of good wine and good food, Jessica is crazy for shopping and passionate about technology! What's never missing in her bag? A book, an MP3 player, her Android smartphone and an external battery!

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