Google rolled out an update today for its Play Books app that fixed the frustrating experience of listening to audiobooks in that app shortly after Google started selling audiobooks two months ago.
According to Google’s blog post, the new changes include:
- Never lose your place with Smart Resume. Interruptions happen all the time, and sometimes you need to pause your audiobook in the middle of a sentence or word because your mom calls or maps tells you to turn in 200 feet. When the book picks back up, you have no idea what’s going on. Smart Resume for audiobooks will intelligently rewind you to the beginning of the word or sentence when you pick up your audiobook again, so you’ll be able to jump right back into where you left off.
- Revisit your favorite moments with Bookmarks. Now you can save all of your favorite moments with Bookmarks in the Google Play Books app. While listening on Android or iOS device, just tap the bookmark icon to save this spot and revisit your favorite quote anytime.
- Fit in more reading time with routines on the Google Assistant. Every morning you may type in your work address to Google Maps to see traffic, check your appointments in Google Calendar, and fire up an audiobook for your drive. You can do this all in one step, hands free with the Google Assistant’s support for Routines. In the Google Home app, add audiobooks to your routine. Once added, just say “Ok Google, tell me about my day” for an easy transition into your morning—and your book.
- Speed it up—or slow it way down—with greater speed controls. Sometimes you just just can’t wait to figure out whodunnit. Now, you can listen to audiobooks at 3x speed to get through your book even faster, or slow books down to 0.5x in order to really savor the language. The pace is up to you.
- Share with Family Library in 13 new countries. With Family Library, you can share audiobooks and ebooks with up to five family members for free (depending on the book). Shared books can then be read on Android, iOS and the web. Today, we’re rolling this out to even more families in 13 new countries, including Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Chile, Mexico, Japan (audiobooks only) and South Africa.
I updated the Play Books app, and I can confirm that the app is actually usable for listening to audiobooks.