losangelesnewstoday.com April 26, 2018

Google's subscription-free audiobooks are now available in India

25 January 2018, 01:49 | Dawn Berry

Google is trying to weed images with this message out. Pixabay

Google is trying to weed images with this message out. Pixabay

It's pretty surprising Google hasn't already gone into the business of selling audiobooks, but, as of today, a range is officially available on the Google Play Store in 45 different countries.

Owned by Amazon, Audible, is now heralded a leading provider of audiobooks, and is not available on Google Assistant devices. We're also told, you can use an Android/iOS device, web browser or a smart speaker/device with Google Assistant on board to listen to the titles you've purchased.

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.

Android devices are getting offline playback of books at launch, and Google has also integrated the service with its assistant.

Google today announced that audiobooks are now available via the Google Play Store.

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Google Assistant compatibility. Audible now doesn't work with Chromecast or Google Assistant, but Google Play Books works just fine!

Google Home is still not available to users in India, and Android Auto and Chromecast have a limited user base, which leaves smartphones and PCs to be the most used options. Considering that more and more people are interacting with Google services via voice commands, audiobooks are one area the company expects to see more demand, explains Google Play Books Head of Product Management Greg Hartrell. Google now offers audiobooks at individual prices for anyone who wants to buy them.

To go along with the launch, Google is offering very deep discounts on lots of audiobook titles.

Users can say "Ok Google, read my book" or "Ok Google, stop playing for 20 minutes" when you need a break. So, if you are into audiobooks, it will be a good time to grab a few for cheap. However, the Google Assistant support will only work with English-language audiobooks right now. An added value proposition is that Audible books sync with the Kindle version, meaning that you can listen to your book in the vehicle, and read it when you get home.

Adding Google Assistant to the mix only makes things that much more appealing. The Amazon Echo has been able to play audiobooks for months.

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