About a year ago, Google rolled out a new capability to Android devices that lets you ask for any webpage or Google News article to be read aloud. The feature, which uses Assistant, is perfect if you want to put your phone away, but still check out some interesting content, from Wikipedia to a random website or your favorite news sources. It even translates pages on the fly from 42 languages! What the feature lacked, though, was a larger choice of reading languages and accents. The former is still not available, but the latter is improving.
You can now set ‘Read Aloud’ to use one of six new AI-generated voices. These are male and female versions of a British, Indian, or Australian English accent. They join the four existing American accents, for ten total choices.
Left: Access the ‘Read Aloud’ voice settings. Right: New British accent.
To use the feature, open any Google News article, or any webpage in Chrome or other Chromium-based browser, then trigger Assistant and ask it to “read this” or “read it.” A new interface will pop up with the page in the middle and playback controls at the bottom. Now tap the three-dot overflow button on the top right and select Read aloud voice. This is where you can pick which accent and voice you prefer to listen to, including the six new ones.
Left: New Indian accent. Right: New Australian accent.
To learn more about the feature and its limitations, you can check our full tutorial here.