The “tell me a story” command has been available on Google’s range of Home smart speakers for some time now, and allows the Google Assistant to read a selection of short stories, including Let’s Be Firefighters! (Blaze and the Monster Machines), Robot Rampage (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and more. Starting from today, April 25, mobile users in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and India will also be able to access those same stories from their Google Assistant apps on iOS and Android. To use it, you do also need to make sure you have the latest version of Google Play Books installed for Android and iOS, as well as the latest version of the Google Assistant.
To get started, just say “Hey Google, read me a story”. Alternatively, if you’re putting the kids to bed and want a story designed to help them calm down for sleep, then you can also ask to “read me a bedtime story”.
This new mode joins the range of reading options available on Google’s smart devices. If you prefer to read aloud to your kids yourself, you can complement your reading experience with the read along mode for the Google Assistant on Google Home smart devices. Just say “Hey Google, let’s read along with Disney”, and the Google Assistant will supply the sound effects as you read select Disney Golden Books, including Moana, Toy Story 3, Coco, as well as classics like Cinderella and Peter Pan. As a non-Disney alternative, consider Ara the Star Engineer — a book that seeks to inspire young girls to explore the wonders of STEM.
Finally, if you’ve been keeping your Google Play Books library well stocked, then you can also ask the Google Assistant to read your audiobooks aloud. Just ask it to read a specific title, or say “Hey Google, read my book” to continue where you left off. That functionality is available in English in the U.S., Australia, Canada and Great Britain, and also comes with support for reading in German and Japanese.
With all of these options available for you on the Google Assistant, there’s no excuse for not kicking back on April 27 and enjoying a good book of any type on National Tell a Story Day.