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Read It

24

How to make Google read almost any story out loud to you on your Android phone

The internet is full of great long-form content, but not everyone has the time to read everything they're interested in. What if you could just turn any text into an audiobook that you can listen to while you do other stuff? Google seems to think that's a great idea as it offers that as a feature on Android. You just need to invoke Google Assistant when you see an article you'd like to have read and say "Read it," "Read this page," or "Read it to me." You can try that with the text right here.

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25

Tell Google Assistant to 'Read It,' including webpages translated from 42 languages

The ways we experience media on the web tend to be designed only for the publisher's intended medium. You don't consume videos just for their sound, for example, and podcasts don't often come with word-for-word transcripts, but there are ways of enjoying those pieces of content with augmentation. Some of the toughest challenges in making text sites cross-consumable via dictation has been in naturalizing machine voices and translating stories rich in grammatical tapestry from other languages. Google Assistant is now bringing its answers to those challenges with new text-to-speech functionality available today.

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48

Google announces scheduled actions for Assistant, plus a handful of other new features

As part of its CES announcements, Google is taking the wraps off a bunch of new and upcoming Assistant functionality, like the ability to schedule actions, a new "Read It" command that dictates text content like news in a more natural voice, plus new Smart Display features like sticky notes and speed dial. While much of it won't land until a nebulous date "later this year," it gives us a peek at what to expect from the Assistant in 2020, and a reference for when Google re-announces half of it as new later once it's been in silent public testing for a couple months.

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