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New audiobook features help Google in its fight against Amazon

The new features keep Google in competition with Amazon and lets audiobooks play nicer with Google Assistant.

Published onMarch 29, 2018

Play Store audiobooks
  • Google is adding features to audiobooks, including Smart Resume, Bookmarks, and support for Routines.
  • Family Library is also now available in 13 additional countries.
  • The new audiobook features are rolling out starting today.

Whether with smart home gadgets, music subscription services, or cloud storage for business, Google and Amazon compete against each other on several fronts. That continues with audiobooks, which were recently added to the Play Store received several upgrades today.

One of those upgrades is Smart Resume, which brings you to the beginning of a word or sentence when you pick up where you think you left off. The feature kicks in on its own when you receive some sort of notification interruption, such as a phone call or updated map directions.

Another new feature that lets you revisit audiobooks is Bookmarks. As the name implies, you can use Bookmarks to save particular moments in an audiobook to revisit later. Alternatively, you can speed up or slow down audiobooks to get you to those moments faster or slower.

Next up is the ability to add audiobooks to your Google Assistant’s Routines. Routines let you multiple Google Assistant actions at once, albeit with plenty of limitations. As such, you can ask Google Assistant about your day and have it eventually transition into your audiobook.

Finally, Google announced that Family Library is available in 13 new countries. Those countries include Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Chile, Mexico, Japan, and South Africa.

Depending on the book, Family Library lets you share audiobooks and ebooks with up to five family members.

All of these features are rolling out starting today to Android, iOS, and other devices that support Google Assistant.

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