In an effort to better compete with Audible, Google has today announced a bunch of new features for its audiobooks in Google Play, making it easier for users to enjoy their favourite book on the go or at home. The new features, which are now rolling out for iOS, Android and Google Assistant devices, include Smart Resume, Bookmarks, Family Sharing and more.
When users pause an audiobook in the middle of a sentence or word, the new Smart Resume feature will intelligently rewind to the beginning of the word or sentence when they pick up their audiobook again, enabling users to jump right back into where they left off. The new Bookmarks feature allows you to easily save all of your favorite moments in the Google Play Books app.
Other new features added with today’s update include:
- Fit in more reading time with routines on the Google Assistant. Every morning you may type in your work address to Google Maps to see traffic, check your appointments in Google Calendar, and fire up an audiobook for your drive. You can do this all in one step, hands free with the Google Assistant’s support for Routines. In the Google Home app, add audiobooks to your routine. Once added, just say “Ok Google, tell me about my day” for an easy transition into your morning—and your book.
- Speed it up—or slow it way down—with greater speed controls. Sometimes you just just can’t wait to figure out whodunnit. Now, you can listen to audiobooks at 3x speed to get through your book even faster, or slow books down to 0.5x in order to really savor the language. The pace is up to you.
- Share with Family Library in 13 new countries. With Family Library, you can share audiobooks and ebooks with up to five family members for free (depending on the book). Shared books can then be read on Android, iOS and the web. Today, we’re rolling this out to even more families in 13 new countries, including Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Chile, Mexico, Japan (audiobooks only) and South Africa.
You can learn more about audiobooks on Google Play at this link.