Android Central

Google Play Books has just had an update pushed out into the Play Store, that brings with it among other features a new 'Read Aloud' function. The new feature allows for the listening of most flowing text books, and while it seems to do a pretty good job, it's not going to replace audiobooks anytime soon. Imagine sitting down to listen to your sat-nav read you a book and you've pretty much got the right idea. Don't take our word for it though, check out the sample after the break.

Reading aloud isn't the only new addition. Pinch to zoom and double tap to zoom now works in all books, all text editing features are available for notes, and personalized recommendations are shown to you at the end of your library and at the end of a book. Personalized advertising then, but not out of character for Google. We also get the usual handful of bug fixes and enhancements thrown in for good measure. Grab yourselves a copy at the Play Store link above. 

 
There are 12 comments

ghess517 says:

Ok, the read aloud is a very nice edition. The tinnycomputerized voice , meh....

bdbplatano says:

go into the settings and enable the High Quality voice. It's a little more tolerable

Keywords *a little more*
If they could work out the pausing to sound more like sentences, it will be really good. But as is, it's too quick to understand.

mwara244 says:

I downloaded an app called Assistant earlier this year and it read aloud all my audio books in my play books section, sounded like the steven hawkings audio machine with a lady's voice version. Assistant is like a siri app.

TheWenger says:

It'll be nice if they let us import our own ebooks into the app. They do it with music, which is arguably more of a licensing nightmare, so why not books?

technomom says:

Hmmm....y'know, now wouldn't be a half bad time for Google to put out something like a $49 e-ink reader, maybe $79 with a light, just to freak out Amazon. I would buy it.

They've had the "read aloud" feature for some time. What's different? Maybe the option of the high quality voice.

Ethere says:

Wish it would work with my Dean Koontz book that I've been reading. Works fine with the Nexus 7 book that came with my Nexus 7. I wonder what the requirements are to get this working on other books?

Reminds me of the computer in War Games.

pedxing says:

It works for me with the third party Ivona Voice app. Ahhh, UK English Amy....I can listen to you all day.

Aikuchi says:

I just want to be able to side load epub in to google play books, since they dont I will stay with B&N Nook app.

CeluGeek says:

You guys know that this is not iOS so you can buy replacement voices so you don't have to put up with Google's crappy text-to-speech voice. There's Ivona Text to Speech (free while in beta), Loquendo and SVOX Classic, all available from the Play Store and all of them sounding better than the built-in TTS voice.