Google Assistant Can Now Read Entire Webpages for You in 42 Different Languages

Mar 4, 2020 13:01 EST
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A good chunk of the time we spend on our phones is reserved for reading content off of webpages. The Google Assistant now can transcribe the contents off of a webpage and read it out to you. Think of it as 'listening' to your news in a podcast format instead of reading them. The feature was demoed at Google I/O last year and is now making its way to more devices. This method is less than ideal, as you miss out on critical information contained in page elements such as images and videos. Here's a small video of the feature in action:

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To get started, all you need to do is say, “Hey Google, read it” or “Hey Google, read this page” to your Google Assistant, and it will immediately read aloud the content of the web page. Your browser will automatically scroll the page and highlight words as they're read aloud. You can also alter the reading speed and choose from multiple voices (Lime, Jungle, Royal, and Sapphire). The voice in the demo does sound a tad monotonous and robotic, but that is the case with most text-to-speech services. The controls are very podcast-like and include a button for play/pause, 10-second rewind, and 30-second skip. There is even an estimated timeline bar that shows you how much of the article is left. Lastly, you can slow down or speed up from .5x to 3x too.

Furthermore, Google Assistant can also translate the contents of said article in real-time. A total of 42 languages are supported at the moment, and Google promises that it will add support for more in the coming months. Website owners have to make no changes to their existing webpage structure. Those who do not want their webpages to be read out aloud like this can use the Nopagereadaloud tag. The feature is rolling out now and will be available to all Android devices running Android 5.0 or above.

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