Google today announced that audiobooks are now available via the Google Play Store. You'll be able to listen to them in the Google Play Books app, through a web browser, or with Assistant.
Oddly enough, one of the things that the company is touting with this new service is the ability to listen to books without a subscription. This does not mean that the digital goods are free, but rather than each audiobook is sold separately. It seems like an odd selling point in an age when fewer people are buying music and movies and turning to streaming services like Spotify and Netflix.
In the audiobook arena, Amazon is the clear incumbent with its Audible service. The company offers a subscription service, but it's not all-you-can-eat like you might expect. There are two tiers, which give the user one or two credits per month. A credit can be used to purchase a book, or you can just buy it at its normal price. An added value proposition is that Audible books sync with the Kindle version, meaning that you can listen to your book in the car, and read it when you get home.
Google did say that its new audiobooks will sync across devices, but it didn't say if the audiobook will sync with a regular e-book, assuming that you've purchased that as well. One thing that the company does offer, however, is Android Wear support. If you're one to leave your phone at home, using Bluetooth headphones with your smartwatch, you'll now be able to do that with audiobooks instead of just music.
Naturally, you'll also be able to use Google Assistant to play the books, which works with the company's Home devices, as well as various tablets and smartphones. You can also ask the Assistant questions while you're listening, like who the author is and so on.
Audiobooks are available in the Google Play Store now, and you can find them here.