Google Assistant is constantly growing its accessibility features, whether it improves its real-time interpreter skills or expands its hand-free capabilities. And starting today, users can ask Google to read web pages aloud to them.
Whenever a web article is open on your browser in your Android phone, you can say, “Hey Google, read it” or “Hi Google, read this page” and Google Assistant will narrate the published content on that web page. According to Google's announcement (opens in new tab), the skill highlights the advanced text-to-speech technology it previewed at CES.
The skill lets you determine the pace at which Google reads, and helps you follow along with highlighted text as the pages autoscrolls. Google Assistant can also translate the page from the language it was written it to your language of choice.
Google says this feature could come in handy when you're tired and want to give your eyes a screen break, or if you're traveling and want local news translated for you. Users all around the world can benefit and learn from the new skill, which supports translation support for 42 languages.
Saying “read it” can also offer better web access to users with reading or visual impairments. Google says the skill is a "voice-first experience," meaning users shouldn't have to touch their screen much to make it work.
There's no word yet on when this skill could come to more devices. In the past, however, Google Assistant features have expanded to iOS devices after a period of time.
Google Assistant was already some ways ahead of Alexa in terms of accessibility features, and today's addition widens the gap even further.