Google Audiobooks Launches in 45 Countries

Additionally, if you try searching for audiobooks using the Play Store app on your phone, you'll only find standard ebooks; at the time this story was written, Google had yet to update the Play Store or the Books app to show audiobooks.

Owned by Amazon, Audible, is now heralded a leading provider of audiobooks, and is not available on Google Assistant devices.

They'll play on iOS, Android, as well as on the web with Google Play Books, and best of all, you can listen on one device, and pick up where you left off on another.

Alphabet's Google yesterday introduced audiobooks to its online store, making its smart speakers and virtual assistant more competitive with Amazon's Echo devices and Alexa voice assistant. Interested users can now purchase their favourite audiobooks via the Play Store and instruct Google Assistant to read them aloud.

This doesn't come as a surprise as recent reports had suggested that Google might soon launch an audiobook section in a bid to compete with services like Audible. Amazon-owned Audible, the top provider of audiobooks, has not been supported on Home and other speakers with Google Assistant. Alongside narrating the book for you, audiobooks also reveal information about the author - to get that, all you need to say is - "Ok Google, who is the author?"

You can also access Google's audiobooks across multiple devices from the company.

With the audiobook users will now be able to experience their favourite literature read out by simply instructing Google Assistant - "Ok Google, read my book".

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. With Google, you can buy books only on a one-off basis. Catching up could year, unless Google is licensing pre-recorded titles which would make more sense. You can also tell it to stop playing in 20 minutes if you're listening to it just before sleeping.

Meanwhile, Audible is already a well-established player in the audiobooks space, with over 400,000 audio titles.

Of course, there is a caveat when listening to audiobooks from the Play Store: you won't be able to sync your place in an audiobook with the ebook version of the same read.

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