Thursday, January 21, 2021

Android gets auto-narration audiobooks and extended voice access

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Google is rolling out another pack of Android features, and one of the most notable might be the one you can’t hear. The company is teaming up with publishers in the US and UK to bring self-narrating audiobooks to the Play Store – you won’t have to hope for a professional recording of a classic track to listen to on your next stroll. Publishers currently only have limited access to a beta auto storytelling tool, but it is expected to be available to all publishers in early 2021.

A pair of updates should also make navigation on the road easier. Android Auto is now set to roll out to more countries in the “next few months”, either integrated for Android 10 and later or via an app on Android 9 and earlier. And if you use Google Maps before the ride, there’s an upcoming Go tab (pictured below, also pointed to iOS) that will help you navigate to places you often visit. You can even identify public transport routes to see departure and arrival times at a glance. Your device should receive the tab within the “next few weeks”.

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