Tech

Google Play Audiobooks Section Going Live Right Now

Google Play Audiobooks Section Going Live Right Now

After years of simply having ebooks, Google today announced that it is adding audiobooks to the Google Play Store.

The company said Tuesday it is releasing audiobooks on Google Play in nine languages across 45 countries.

Like Apple's iBooks and Amazon-owned Audible, there is no monthly subscription fee required to purchase audiobooks. Available as part of Google Play Books' ebook offering, the audiobooks are available on iOS and Android, as well as Google Home, Android Wear, and Android Auto.

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Based on a demo of Google Play audiobooks I saw, it looks like Google has gotten most of the basics down.

To listen to the audiobooks, all you need to do is long press the Home Button and say "Ok Google, read my book".

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In the audiobook arena, Amazon is the clear incumbent with its Audible service. The Google Play Books app will work with the normal touch interface, however.

With Google's enormous opening discounts - you can get 50% off your first audiobook until 26 February - it is hard to know if it will make people switch from Audible to Google. Audiobooks only support English for now as well with Google Assistant.

Most of the basic features and functions of the audiobook format it appears Google already has nailed. Discounts are also in place for first-time audiobook owners: your first book bought through the Play Store will be 50%. You'll also be able to listen via a Google Home or any Google Assistant-powered device. Free previews are also available, just like with normal books.

What is going to be the first audiobook you pick up or are you an Audible subscriber?

To conclude, we should note that playing audiobooks can be done across multiple devices, so users will be able to resume their reading from the exact point they left off no matter which device they choose to use.