If you've ever wanted the power to have a book read to you on command, your dreams are finally coming true. Starting today, Google is introducing audiobooks on Google Play, and with a simple turn of phrase — "Ok Google, read my book" — your wish is their command.
Over the last two decades, technologies like e-readers, tablets, and other smart devices have transformed the way we read and interact with our books. Now, Google is making it easier than ever for book-lovers to enjoy audiobooks no matter where we are or what we're doing, with the help of the Assistant and Google Play Books app. All users have to do is say "Ok Google, read my book," and the new service will play an audiobook on a phone, tablet, speaker, or device, no clicking, swiping, or typing necessary.
Available today in 45 countries and in 9 different languages, the new audiobooks feature can be used across all Android and iOS devices, as well as on the web with Google Play Books. It is also designed to work seamlessly with speakers and other devices that have the Google Assistant, like the Google Home. No matter what readers started listening on, they can pick up right where they left off on any of their devices with the Assistant of Google Play Books app, including a phone, Chromecast, Android Wear, or even a laptop.
A completely subscription-free service that offers book previews before purchasing — you know, so you can make sure the narrator's voice is one you enjoy — Google Play Books lets users buy single titles at an affordable price, no long term commitment or monthly membership fee necessary. While listening, you can learn about the book by asking questions like "Ok Google, who is the author?" You can also set timers for bed time or at the gym simply by telling it "Ok Google, stop playing in 20 minutes." If you've found a new favorite, you can also share your great audiobook discoveries with others in your home with the Family Library, a unique feature that gives everyone in the family access to the same titles on their different devices, completely free of charge.
To celebrate the launch of this amazing new bookish feature, Google is offering dozens of bestsellers for under $10. Still having a hard time getting your hands on a physical copy of the most talked about politics book of the year? Listen to Michael Wolff's bestseller, Fire & Fury: Inside the Trump White House, narrated by Holter Graham and Michael Wolff ($8.99.) Can't wait any longer for the most exciting book-to-screen adaptations of the year? Then hear Wil Wheaton read you Ernest Cline's Ready Player One ($6.99), or kick back to the sounds of Eddie Redmayne, a.k.a. Newt Scamander, narrating J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ($5.99.) Looking for something to get you in the mood before Valentine's Day? Tune into the sultry sounds of Zachary Webber reading Darker by E.L. James ($5.99.). Other top titles on sale include:
- The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher, Narrated by Carrie Fisher and Billie Lourd ($13.95)
- Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling, Narrated by Mindy Kaling, B.J. Novak, and Greg Daniels ($4.99)
- The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer, narrated by Amy Schumer ($5.99)
- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, Narrated by Davina Porter ($7.99)
- The Rooster Bar by John Grisham, Narrated by Ari Filakos ($9.99)
- Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie, Narrated by Dan Stevens ($4.99)
- The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, Narrated by Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey & India Fisher ($6.99)
- Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, Narrated by Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, George Saunders, Carrie Brownstein, Miranda July, Lena Dunham, full cast ($8.99)
- 1984 by George Orwell, Narrated by Simon Prebble ($5.99)
- Astrophysics For People In A Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson ($7.77)
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson, Narrated by Roger Wayne ($5.99)
If your New Year's resolution was to cross more titles off your TBR list, then this new audiobook service on Google Play just made accomplishing your goal a whole lot easier. Whether you're driving to work, doing chores around the house, or out walking the dog, all it takes is five simple words — "Ok Google, read my book" — and in no time, you're in a whole other (and more bookish) world.