With An Update, Google Assistant Can Read Web Pages Aloud In 42 Different Languages

Google Assistant

"OK, Google" or "Hey, Google" has been the commands more frequently heard with the advent of Google Assistant.

With an update, Google has given Assistant a new ability, which is reading entire web pages aloud to users on Android. While the feature was first previewed at the 2020 International CES in January, the feature was pushed to all users in early March 2019 without many promotion.

This feature should be useful in situations, like when users are reading a long article on their smartphone, or willing to catch on news, but don't really have the time to sit down.

With Assistant, users can consume web page content in a format similar to a podcast or an e-book.

The feature has been available on almost all Android smartphones running 5 Lollipop or newer.

According to Yossi Matias, VP of Engineering at Google in a blog post:

"With Google Assistant, your browser can now read web articles out loud. Whenever a web article is displayed on your browser in your Android phone, you can say, 'Hey Google, read it' or 'Hey Google, read this page' it will immediately read aloud the content of the web page."

When Assistant reads a web page out loud, users' browser will automatically scroll down the page and highlight the words as they’re being read.

This is to help users follow along as it reads.

Users can also adjust the reading speed as they please, by making Assistant read text faster or slower.

Using natural language processing, Assistant can read web pages in "expressive, natural voices so it won’t sound like a machine is reading to you."

What's more, if the text it is reading isn't in the users' native language, Assistant can automatically trigger the browser to read aloud in 42 different languages users can choose from. Users can "simply use the translation menu to select the language of your choice, and all pages will be automatically translated and read in that language."

Websites don't need to do anything to enable this functionality.

But for those webmasters who wish to no allow Assistant to read their web pages out loud, they can use the nopagereadaloud tag.

And for developers, they add this ability for Google Assistant to read aloud contents in mobile app using Actions on Google.