Google Play Develops Audiobook Features to Outrank Audible

Google recently added audiobooks to Google Play, allowing users to listen to their favorite reads across Android, iOS, web, and home speakers, and presenting another option for readers aside from Audible or iBooks. The company has now rolled out some new features to listeners, allowing them to save bookmarks and add books to their daily routine.

The updates rolled out today for Android, iOS, and devices that use Google Assistant.

In all, there are four updated features for listeners. If you pause your book, Google will rewind to the beginning of a word or sentence. Second, Google now allows listeners to adjust the speed of the narration; you can set it to 3x speed to get through your book faster, or slow narration down to 0.5x. Third, you can add a bookmark at a certain point that you might want to revisit. These are all features that are already staples in Audible, the leading audiobooks app.

Finally, users will be able to add audiobooks to a Google Assistant routine, automatically playing the book as part of a morning program, for example. The company also announced that it’s expanding ebook and audiobook family sharing to users in 13 countries, including Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Chile, Mexico, Japan (audiobooks only), and South Africa.