Google is battling Amazon with a devoted audiobook retailer

Audio books on Play Store will be available in nine languages in 45 countries, including India, from today onwards.

Unlike Amazon's Audible, with which it appears created to compete, Google doesn't require a membership to buy audiobooks.

The best news to come out of this is that you can now listen to audiobooks on Google Play, whether you have an Android device or iOS device.

The data will be synced together across all the platforms, which will allow users to start their book on one device and finish it on another. "Google is making its voice assistant available in other countries faster than Amazon, and it will be able to use Android devices around the world as a platform for distributing audiobooks".

Unlike Amazon's Audible service, users can buy individual Google audiobook titles without any membership and without any commitment to buy more.

Most people already saw the banner on Google Play so it comes as no surprise that Google has officially announced the arrival of audiobooks to their ecosystem.

The audiobooks can be accessed via your Google Assistant, just say "Ok Google, read my book" to listen to your favorite audiobook hands-free on your phone or speaker (Google Home). The feature will work on web, app on Android and iOS devices, which include the Google Assistant. Over the weekend, a dedicated section for Audiobooks spotted on Google Play, and now the company has made it official.

As of now, Google hasn't rolled out the app on Google Play Store which gives you error 404 message when you try opening the link in an advertisement displayed by the company. With Google, you can buy books only on a one-off basis. Users in the US will also soon be able to use Google Assistant to listen to audiobooks on Android Auto. Additional commands such as "who is the author" and "stop playing in 20 minutes" are also available (see the complete list of commands here). "OK, Google, how much time is left?"

With Google's enormous opening discounts - you can get 50% off your first audiobook until 26 February - it is hard to know if it will make people switch from Audible to Google. Interestingly, Google's audiobooks don't need you to subscribe to it to use it, initially. One thing that the company does offer, however, is Android Wear support.

  • Kara Saunders