If you use Google Play Books and have been waiting for Google to offer support for audiobooks directly, the wait is finally over.
Announced today, Google Play Audiobooks is now available through Google Play Books. This is subscription-free option, so customers can buy individual titles as they see fit. And to help spur some purchases, Google is offering steep discounts on some titles like Astrophysics for People in a Hurry ($7.77) and Ready Player One ($6.99). In addition, Google is also offering 50% off the first audiobook a customer buys.
Google Play Audiobooks is supported on iOS, Android, and through Google Assistant. You can simply ask the Assistant, “Okay Google, read my book” and the audiobook will start playing.
Audiobooks can be shared between users in the same “Family Library” rules that Google has introduced for some digital content.
As for other features, Google Play Audiobooks lets listeners turn up the speed to 2x and use a sleep timer. Audiobooks can sync their location between devices, but they cannot sync a spot between an audiobook and the eBook.
Google confirmed that audiobook support is “coming soon to the Assistant on Android Auto in the US,” but there’s no word on an official launch date just yet. It’s also worth noting that if you do use an iOS device and Google Assistant, audiobook support isn’t there yet; that’s only for Android devices (for now). Audiobooks only support English for now as well with Google Assistant.
Google Play Audiobooks launch today in 45 countries across the globe and nine different languages.
What is going to be the first audiobook you pick up or are you an Audible subscriber?