Some of Google Home's best features are the ones that are just for fun, like playing the "I'm feeling lucky" game show, listening to different animal sounds, and asking for interesting facts. Google is expanding on that repertoire with storytelling sound effects for certain Disney stories. Parents in the US can activate the new feature by saying "Hey Google, let's read along with Disney." Their Home device will then listen along and play appropriate sound effects and music for the chosen story, which can be selected from a library of 11, with more to come.
Google's library of Disney books includes some classics, as well as newer movie-related titles. Below, find the full list of Little Golden books supported (updated with new titles):
- Aladdin (Added: 12/17/2018)
- Alice in Wonderland
- Ara the Star Engineer (Added: 12/04/2018)
- Frozen (Added: 12/17/2018)
- Frozen 2 (Added: 10/18/2019)
- Jack Jack Attack
- The Lion King (Added: 12/17/2018)
- Mickey's Christmas Carol
- Mickey Mouse and his Spaceship
- Mickey Mouse Goes Christmas Shopping
- Mulan (Added: 12/17/2018)
- Peter Pan
- The Three Little Pigs
- Toy Story 3
Google notes that if you have to skip ahead in the book, it will recognize and jump ahead (great for jumping over the too-scary section), and, if you pause, it will just play ambient music. No other commands are possible when the read-along feature is engaged, though. Also, because no one wants story time with their child to be recorded and kept in any way by a massive tech firm, Google promises it won't do that.
The feature works with Google Home, Google Home Mini, and Google Home Max in the US only. The company is also updating the help article with new titles periodically and we'll be keeping track with updates to this story.
Google has just updated its support docs to let us know that this read-along feature is now also available on the Google Home Hub.
So, remember how we saw those support docs updated to indicate Home Hub compatibility? Well, it turns out that's not so much the case; today Google reverted its list to remove the Home Hub.
We reached out to find out what the deal was and learned that the initial addition was made in error, and for the moment this feature isn't supported on the Google Home Hub. The good news is that not only is Home Hub support in the works, but this mode should be coming to the whole family of smart displays. Look for it to roll out sometime in the next few weeks.
Google has just updated its support page for this storytime mode to note that it now works with "any Google Home device or smart display." That jives with what we were told when we checked in about the Home Hub before, and beyond supporting Google's own smart display, compatibility's also coming to models from the likes of Lenovo and others.
This article has been updated with new information and has been edited to improve organization and readability.
This article was originally published October 29, 2018.