Google is beginning to roll out its article-reading feature on Google Assistant that will read webpages aloud. At CES in January, Google previewed what’s coming to Assistant in 2020. A screen reader built into Assistant and activated by “Hey Google, read this page” is now rolling out on Android.
To use the feature, users can simply say, “Hey Google, read it” or “Hey Google, read this page” for Assistant to read the text on your screen. The screen will also highlight the text that Assistant is currently reading so users can follow along on the page as it’s being read out loud. To skip to a different section, tap the screen to move forward. Or if you’re the kind of person who listens to podcasts at two times the speed, you can also adjust Google Assistant’s reading pace for faster or slower cadences.
Other customizations include choosing from four voices (Lime, Jungle, Royal, and Sapphire), while there’s a real-time translation to your preferred language. At launch, 42 are supported with Google creating text-to-speech that’s suited to long-form content by accounting for stress, intonation, and rhythm.
While it’ll certainly be useful for those who may have difficulty seeing or reading on a small screen, this also seems like a much better solution to asking Google Assistant for a cooking recipe, then having to repeatedly say “Next!” to continue each step.
This feature is rolling out starting today and will be available for Android 5.0 and above around the world.