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Google Assistant can read web pages to you aloud, available today on Android

As of now it only works on your Android smartphone, but it will likely make its way to other platforms soon.

Published onMarch 4, 2020

At CES 2020, Google revealed a new Google Assistant feature called “Read It.” The feature does something incredibly simple but also very useful: it reads aloud the text on web pages.

At CES, Google just revealed the existence of Read It. Now, though, the feature is making its way out into the wild for the first time. Starting today, anyone with an Android smartphone running Android Lollipop or higher can use Read It on any web page.

Making it work is incredibly easy. Just follow the steps below:

  1. Open up your web browser and navigate to a page you’d like to hear read out loud.
  2. With the article on your screen, activate Google Assistant by saying “Hey Google” or however you usually start voice commands.
  3. Issue the command, “Hey Google, read it” or “Hey Google, read this page.”
  4. Google Assistant will then read the entire page out loud, auto-scrolling the page and highlighting words as it goes.

Read It is surprisingly powerful already. Not only will it read anything on the web but it will even translate text in 42 languages automatically. That means if the article is written in English but you want to hear it in Hindi, Assistant will take care of that for you. Obviously, there will be some translation issues and the grammar might be off, but you’ll get the basic gist of the info.

The Google Assistant Read It function will not only make life easier for people who just can’t be bothered to read text but it will also make the web more accessible to those who have vision impairments or primarily depend on voice commands to navigate their smartphones.

For right now, Read It is only available on Android smartphones. However, it will likely make its way to other platforms in the future.

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