But the experience ... is not great.
Audiobooks are hugely popular. Always have been, way back to the days when we kept a half-dozen cassettes in the car to get through a whole book. (Ask your parents, kids.) So they make perfect sense for Android Auto. You can get through an entire novel in a matter of hours — sometimes read by the actual author, other times by a celebrity. It's a great thing. Unfortunately, the Audiobooks.com Android app is not a great thing.
Start with the phone experience. There's no single-sign in, and no support for Google Wallet or PayPal or anything. So onboarding is already clunky. You can browse titles easily enough, and there's a decent amount of free material to listen to — samples and entire books — even if you don't log in. That's kinda nice, actually. And you can navigate the free stuff from Android Auto.
Once you're logged in on your phone — and this took me a few tries to actually get it to stick and not log me back out — you can get to work. Mostly. You get 1 credit a month for $14.95 — a free book a month. So I used mine to download Harper Lee's "Go Set A Watchman" since it was first on the list. Once I finally got it to download — and this was after I gave up on trying to get any of the free books to download on my phone (I have no idea what was up with that) — I was able to plug in and listen through Android Auto.
The playback experience is mostly OK. There's the play/pause button, and 30-second forward and reverse buttons, and that's it. Spartan, but OK. But those forward and reverse buttons are a little messed up, too, looking like they're designed for some other pixel density. They're just way too skinny and don't look like other 30-second skip buttons we've seen. (And Android Auto itself should take some of the blame here — that sort of thing absolutely should be standardized between apps.)
All in all, it's an OK experience. It works, and it's a decent addition if you have an Audiobooks.com subscription.
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