Users can now say "Ok Google, read my book" with Google Assistant to launch an audiobook or ask simple questions about the book's details. According to Google, audiobooks are now rolling out in 45 countries and they're available in nine languages.
While Amazon dominates the US audiobooks market, Google's major advantage is that its service is available in 45 countries, according to James McQuivey, VP at research firm Forrester.
Google on Tuesday launched audiobook streaming and purchases across Google Assistant devices like Google Home, and Google Play Books on Android, iOS, and web. Finally, listening to audiobooks across multiple devices is possible as well, which means you can pick up where you left off no matter what device you're using (Android, iOS, Chromecast, Android Wear, Android Auto).
Like on similar platforms, you can hear a preview of the audiobook on the Play Store and audiobooks are automatically part of your family library, so you can easily share your audiobook copy of "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck" with everybody in your household.
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Currently, there are still a few rough edges around Google's new initiative, because while audiobooks will be available in 45 countries, the ability to listen to books using Google Assistant only works in English, for now. Assistant integration is now limited to English language users, and Android Auto support is coming soon.
The new audio book service pits Google directly in competition with Amazon's Audible service.
The Google Play Store sells all kinds of media and has done so for many years, but now there's one more category the company is getting into in a big way.
Since this is Google, it's not only touting Google Assistant support but also machine learning. That would be audio books.
"You can buy a single audiobook at an affordable price, with no commitments", he said in a blog post yesterday. Amazon's Audible service costs $14.95 per month after a free 30 day trial. This comes as an interesting feature of the audiobooks. "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.